By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
September 26, 2012, VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team are up against two CIS top-ten schools this weekend. The Vikes will face the No. 1-ranked Alberta Golden Bears on Sept. 28 and will host the No. 8-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies on Sept. 29. Both games will kick off at 7:15 p.m. at Centennial Stadium.
The Vikes men are currently 2-3-1 in Canada West play and sit third in the Pacific Division behind UBC and Trinity Western. Last weekend, the Vikes struggled against Calgary, losing 3-1, and Lethbridge, drawing 1-1. The pre-season favoured Vikes return several players from the 2011 championship team, including midfielders Craig Gorman (Victoria, B.C.) and Cam Hundal (Terrace, B.C. ), but it has been 2012 addition Cameron Stokes (Richmond, B.C.) who seems to be making the splash on the score board to date. The Vikes have scored a total of 14 goals and three of those are credited to Stokes.
The Vikes have also had significant contributions from third-year midfielder Craig Taylor (Victoria, B.C.), who has three goals and an assist. Taylor has been a consistent offensive threat for the Vikes’ front line.
In the backfield, the Vikes are anchored by keeper Elliot Mitrou (Victoria, B.C.), who has a 66.7 save percentage. As well, the Vikes have looked to fourth-years Gavin Barrett(Richmond, B.C.) and Bobby Eng (Richmond, B.C.) to command the back line and provide solid communication across the pitch.
The Vikes will meet the undefeated Golden Bears on Friday night, who cruised their previous weekend double header against Winnipeg with scores of 3-0 and 5-0. Third-year striker and 2010 Canada West Rookie of the Year Marcus Johnstone leads the Bears with seven goals and three assist in five games. As well, Alberta boasts seven starters and 14 players overall from the defending Canada West championship squad. Fourth-year net minder Jay Vetsch will also be a strong hold for the Bears, as he has recorded four shut outs in his five games played this season.
On Saturday, the Vikes meet the Saskatchewan Huskies, who also eased through last weekend games against the UNBC Timberwolves. The Huskies won by 1-0 and 8-1 margins and are currently 4-0-1 in the Canada West. Second-year Brett Levis leads the team in points with four goals and four assists, while fifth-year keeper Mark Diakiwhas been doing his part between the pipes. The Huskies have only conceded three goals in their opening five matches of the season.
Both games will kick off at Centennial Stadium on Sept. 28 and 29 at 7:15 p.m and will be broadcast live at http://uvic.canadawest.tv