Vikes’ regular season unbeaten streak curbed by Spartans

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

September 14, 2012, VICTORIA, BC (ISN) – The No. 1-ranked University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team’s championship defence came to a streaking hault in only the second weekend of Canada West play. The Trinity Western Spartans downed the UVic men 3-1 on Sept. 14 at Rogers Park in Langley, B.C.

The Spartans got on the board with two first-half goals from senior midfield-forward Jason Wiens. Fifth-year Spencer Schmidt added one in the 65th minute to secure the lead.

The defeat marks the Vikes’ first regular season loss since they played Trinity Western this time last year, Sept. 10, 2011, at Rogers Park. Following the 2-1 loss last season, the Vikes went 12 games in the regular season before losing to the Alberta Pandas in the Canada West Final Four.

The Spartans opened the scoring in the 24th minute when second-year midfielder Brayden Gant paced a ball from the right to a wide open Wiens. Wiens took a strike from 25 yards out that went top corner past six-foot-one Vikes keeper Elliot Mitrou (Victoria, B.C.).

UVic midfielder Craig Gorman (Victoria, B.C.) retaliated with a great run down the right side of the pitch looking for team mate and fourth-year transfer Nicholas Mavrikos(Victoria, B.C.) but the Spartans defense did well to keep that shot out of danger.

In the 35th minute, Schmidt sent a perfectly struck corner kick from the right side into the box for Wiens to touch in past a stunned Mitrou, sending the Spartans up 2-0.

The Spartans looked to take the lead to three when Vikes defender Gavin Barrett (Richmond, B.C.) hauled down talented striker Jarvis Ambaka just outside the 18-yard-box. Schmidt’s free kick was blocked well by the Vikes’ wall just before the half-time break.

Following the half, the Vikes pressed hard up front but Spartans keeper Evan Lowther continued to shut the door. Attempts by UVic midfielders Cam Hundal (Terrace, B.C. ) and Gorman continued to penetrate the box but the Vikes were unable to get any dangerous touches on to the ball. The Vikes also looked to second-half substitutes Cameron Stokes (Richmond, B.C.) and Thomas Mallette (Trail, B.C.) to bring some fresh energy to the pitch.

In the 66th minute, the Spartans sealed their win when Ambaka used his speed to power through the right side of the field and find Schmidt awaiting on the left side of the pitch. Schmidt battled off his defender and lined up his first goal of the season, sending Trinity Western up 3-0.

In the 89th minute, Vikes’ Hundal drew keeper Lowther out of his net and forced him to foul in the box. Victoria-native Gorman stepped up for the penalty kick and placed the ball in the low, right-hand corner to break Lowther’s blank slate.

The Vikes returned with several more opportunities but dangerous attack lead by Ambaka and Schmidt, coupled with strong goalkeeping by Lowther continued the Spartans’ undefeated streak with the Vikes at home at Rogers Park.

The Spartans advance to 2-0-1 in the Pacific Division of the Canada West, while the Vikes drop to 2-1-0.

The UVic men will continue their mainland road trip tomorrow, Sept. 15, against the UBC Thunderbirds at Thunderbird Stadium at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast live athttp://uvic.canadawest.tv

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