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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes took 45 minutes to settle in before opening the scoring to blank the Mount Royal Cougars 5-0 on Sept. 8 at Centennial Stadium.

The Vikes improve to a 1-0-1 record, while the Cougars drop to 0-2-0.

Second-year Vikes striker Emma Greig (Tofino, BC) broke the scoring deadlock in the opening minute of the second half and followed it up with two more goals. Vikes midfielders Lindsay Hoetzel (Victoria, BC) and Mallory Hackett (Victoria, BC) each added one as the Vikes out-shot the Cougars 15-3.

The Mount Royal Cougars put up three shots on goal in total but spent most of the time helping out fifth-year keeper Kelsey Marklund, who made 10 saves throughout the game.

“I think we were a little tired from yesterday,” said Vikes head coach Tracy David. “A lot of the players that started today played 90 minutes yesterday and maybe that showed but we did well to put numbers behind the ball and I give credit to Emma Greig for such a fantastic performance today.”

Both the Vikes and Cougars struggled to gain offensive attack in the opening half of the match. Both teams lacked full control of the ball and it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes of the opening half did a flurry of opportunities for both teams present.

In the 37th minute, the Vikes women had their first chance off a left-side cross from fifth-year midfielder Janelle Smith (Vernon, BC). Fourth-year Jacqueline Harrison(Whitehorse, YT) connected well with her left foot to curl the ball towards goal but Cougars keeper Marklund caught a break from her left post.

The following two consecutive minutes had Harrison sprung on two separate occasions but Cougars defenders Kim Silcox and Monica Neilson came up with some well-timed tackles to keep the Vikes off the board.

At the 41st minute msark, Vikes defender Bijou Leavins (Calgary, AB) turned over a ball and allowed Mount Royal midfielder Donella Lockhart some space to release a lethal shot from almost 25 yards out but that ball rang off the cross bar to keep the game tied at 0-0 entering the break.

Only one minute into the second half, second-half substitute Emma Greig lifted the Vikes 1-0 blasting home a rebound off of a corner kick.

With several substitutions after the break, the Vikes were able to increase their efficiency up front. The UVic side was rewarded in the 52nd minute when the Cougars made a seemingly harmless back pass to their keeper Marklund. Marklund elected to take an extra touch to look to the other side but some speedy work from Uvic’s Hoetzel allowed her to challenge Marklund and tap the ball into the open net to go up 2-0.

Emma Greig pocketed two more goals less than a minute apart following some great individual efforts from rookies Alexandra Wiebe (Ladner, BC) and Sarah Douglas (London, ONT). In the 59th minute, Wiebe was able to find Douglas who drew several Cougar defenders before lofting a ball into the six-yard-box and on to the head of Greig for her second goal of the game.

Hackett set up Greig for the hat trick after using her speed down the left side to send a good ball across in the 60th minute. Greig fought off her defender and knocked the ball into the goal from close range.

Hackett later secured her second goal of the weekend after she brought down a cross from the right side and buried it low and hard past Marklund to put the Vikes up by five.

The Cougars did receive an opportunity in the 70th minute as Kelsey Kinzner fed a great ball to a streaking Ashleigh Wroe but good hustle from Vikes defender Carsen Machin (Richmond, BC) kept any attempt at goal out of harms way.

The Vikes will travel next to Prince George, B.C. to take on the UNBC Timberwolves at 12 p.m. PST on Sept. 15. That game can be watched live at http://uvic.canadawest.tv.