UVic hosts Best of the West in Final 4

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Andy Watson

VICTORIA, B.C. – Unbeaten in 12 games, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team hosts the Canada West Final 4, Nov. 5-6 at Centennial Stadium.

On Saturday, UVic hosts Alberta at 2:15 p.m., while Trinity Western and UBC battle in the other Canada West semifinal at 12 p.m.

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In the first semifinal, the rivalry between the Spartans (8-4-2, 3rd place in Canada West) and Thunderbirds (7-1-6, 2nd in Canada West) resumes. The mainland foes tied 1-1 on Sept. 16 in Langley, B.C., but UBC won on their turf-surface field 1-0 on Oct. 7. The Spartans are led by goalkeeper Andrew Fink and scoring threat Spencer Schmidt and are a veteran-laden squad. Meanwhile, UBC can attack from a number of positions on the field with fleet-footed fullbacks Matt Allard and William Hyde not afraid to join the rush from the back, and Gagandeep Dosanjh, Sean Haley and Navid Mashinchi provide spark offensively.

The Vikes will look to keep their perfect record on home field in tact while Alberta looks to avenge a loss from last Sunday when the Vikes beat them 2-0 in Edmonton in the regular season finale. The teams tied 1-1 in Victoria on Sept. 17 on goals from Craig Gorman and Cam Hundal. Gavin Barrett scored in the September draw, and Daniel Kilpatrick played against Alberta in both contests this season.

AROUND THE CIS: Here’s a quick glance at the other conference championships underway. Last updated Nov. 4 at 5 p.m.

AUS

Saint Mary’s upset #9 St. FX 1-0 in penalty kicks in an AUS quarter-final Friday, and Dalhousie defeated Moncton 3-0 in the other quarter-final in Atlantic Canada. SMU will now play the championship host Cape Breton Capers in a Saturday semifinal while Dalhousie faces UPEI in the other semifinal. Cape Breton has already qualified as the AUS regular season champion, while the conference championship winner (or runner-up if Cape Breton happens to win the conference championship as well) will also advance to the CIS nationals.

RSEQ

Montréal clinched one of the two spots at nationals by virtue of winning the regular season title. They’re in the Quebec conference Final 4 hosting UQAM (Université de Québec a Montréal) in one semifinal tonight, while McGill hosts Trois Rivieres in the other, also tonight. The Quebc champion – or runner up if Montréal wins it – will also advance to CIS nationals.

OUA

The Carleton Ravens host the Ontario University Athletics Final 4 and face OUA West team McMaster on Saturday afternoon in one of two OUA semifinals. The other semifinal features a Battle of the GTA with Toronto facing defending CIS champion York.

CANADA WEST

Defending national finalist UBC faces Trinity Western in one semifinal CIS tournament host UVic faces Alberta. The Thunderbirds are ranked No. 5 in the CIS, while the Vikes are currently at No. 3.

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