Two familiar Canada West teams rivalled at Victoria’s Centennial Stadium as the University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team hosted the UBC Thunderbirds in both teams’ Canada West openers. UBC prevailed 1-0 in head coach Marisa Kova’c first CIS appearance, while the Vikes now fall 0-1 in their season record.
UBC got on the board in the 45th minute thanks to late substitute and former Canada West Rookie of the Year Jasmin Dhanda. Third-year goalkeeper Olivia de Goede logged the shutout after making four big saves for the T-Birds. Vikes netminder Meaghan Storie was credited five saves for her team that boasted 12 new players.
The young Vikes were dominant through the majority of the opening half as new-look Vikes Mia Gunter and Kiara Kilbey drove a lot of the Vikes’ offensive efforts, while fourth year Emma Greig andSarah Douglas were also prominent. The Vikes had their best chance in the 30th minute when Douglas found herself alone in behind the UBC back line. The fourth-year midfielder got in tight in the UBC box and seemed to run out of space as she blasted it over the bar. UBC’s de Goede was very strong in the box for the visitors clearing away several close chances.
The Thunderbirds did well to test the Vikes’ back line anchored by Lindsay Machin and Samantha Lee but enjoyed their biggest surge when Dhanda made her late entrance on the pitch with less than 10 minutes left in the first half. The third-year forward immediately made her presence felt, driving the left side of the 18-yard-box on a solo effort and sending a promising ball just over Storie but wide of the goal in the 42nd minute. One minute later Dhanda helped spring Amirt Berar for a chance that was collected by Storie but in the final minute of the half Dhanda was finally rewarded.
In the 44th minute UBC’s Van Duynhoven turned and found Tamara Roughead in the middle of the park. Roughead’s ensuing pass slipped through Victoria’s back line and on to the patient feet of Dhanda who took one touch to the right to beat Storie and tapped it in the empty frame to give UBC the 1-0 lead. The score remained 1-0 for UBC entering half time.
In the second half Dhanda continued to make an impact on the field, challenging the Vikes back line from all over the pitch. Berar also created havoc for the Victoria defence, while it was defender Aman Shergill who forced the first second-half save out of Storie. Shergill one-timed a ball from the top of the box after a scramble, while the Vikes quickly countered off of Storie’s stop. Seconds later Douglas found herself again in prime spot to even the score but her shot blasted just over the bar and the hands of de Goede.
The Thunderbirds continued to test their rivals Victoria as van Duynhoven had a promising chance off a corner kick that was well blocked in desperate attempts by Greig in the 73rd minute. Just two minutes following, Victoria had their own corner kick, taken by Douglas, and Megan Elder collected the ball and fired a hard shot that was saved by a diving de Goede.
The teams traded possession, working in their substitutes through the latter of the second half, but the Thunderbirds’ experience prevailed. UBC takes their opening Canada West game 1-0. Up next the Thunderbirds and Vikes will both play Trinity Western and Fraser Valley on the road, Sept. 11-12. All games will be broadcast live at canadawest.TV.
UBC: 1 -0 : 1
UVIC: 0 – 0 : 0
UBC: Jasmin Dhanda (44′)
UBC: Taylor Shannik
UVIC: Samantha Lee