VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team put together an impressive late-season run to qualify as the fourth seed in the Canada West playoffs.
Led by talented midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki (Coquitlam, B.C.), a member of the national team program who missed two league games with Canada during a tour in the U.S., the Vikes put together a record of 7-4-3. Two of their four losses came with Sawicki out of the lineup.
Goalkeeper Stephanie Parker of Chemainus, B.C., is a key player to watch and will be counted upon to provide leadership at the back in front of a young and less experienced defensive back-four. Freshmen Shannon Elder (Victoria, B.C.) and Emma Greig (Tofino, B.C.) provide depth in scoring along with talented two-way midfielder Jacqueline Harrison (Whitehorse, Yukon) and Nathalie Scharf (Salmon Arm, B.C.).
After missing the post-season in 2010, the Vikes are on a three-game winning streak and are unbeaten in four.
Last weekend, the Vikes battled back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Fraser Valley Cascades 2-1. Sawicki netted both goals, one on a penalty kick and the other from well outside the 18-yard box. The win put the Vikes fourth in the conference, earning them the final berth to join Trinity Western, UBC and Alberta at the Canada West Final Four playoffs this week, Nov. 4-5.
The Vikes play on the No. 2 CIS-ranked Trinity Western’s home soil for their playoff opening game set to kick off at 5 p.m. If the Vikes upset the Spartans, they will secure their spot to move on to the 2011 CIS National Championships in Montreal, Que. Nov. 10-13.
Depending on their Friday result, they will continue action on Saturday, Nov. 5 for either the Canada West title (5 p.m.) or the 3rd/4th place game (2 p.m.).
SCOUTING THE VIKES:
2011 Record: 7-4-3
Last Canada West Final Four Appearance: 2009 (lost semifinal and third-place game)
Last Canada West Championship Won: 2008 (have won three)
Last CIS Championship: 2005 (have only won once)
Key additions: D Madeline Smith-Ackerl, M Alysha Elyk, M/F Shannon Elder, M/F Amy Lawrence, F Emma Greig
Key returnees: G Stephanie Parker, D Brigitte Greig, D/M Mallory Hackett, M Jaclyn Sawicki, M Sarah Clark, M Tessa Margetts, F Frankee Bencher
Key departures: Kaitlyn Hunter, M Nellanna Kurylo, D/M Kelly Forbes, D Shayla Behrens