By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
September 29, 2012, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team downed the No. 8-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies 2-0 on Sept. 29 at Centennial Stadium. The win gives the Vikes six points over two CIS top-10 teams in one weekend and lifts the UVic men to a 4-3-1 record while the Huskies drop to 5-1-1.
The Vikes men sealed their win with two second-half goals finished by defender Gavin Barrett (Richmond, B.C.) and midfielder Craig Gorman (Victoria, B.C.). Vikes keeper Elliot Mitrou (Victoria, B.C.) recorded his first shut out of the season.
Despite serving the majority of the offensive chances in the first half, the Huskies concede their first loss of the Canada West 2012 season to the Vikes.
“This is a complete turn around for our team,” said Vikes goal scorer, Barrett, following the six-point weekend. “We needed these victories and we were all in a good head space. You could tell in the warm up that we wanted a win. We fought for it and we got it.”
Vikes striker Nicholas Mavrikos (Victoria, B.C.) was the first to rattle Huskies keeper Mark Diakiw, as he rang a shot from outside the box just high and off the cross bar in the 12th minute. Both Diakiw and Vikes keeper Mitrou were tested few times with shots on target as both teams kept the battle in the middle of the pitch.
In the 36th minute, Huskies forward Divine Ebesoh did well to set up the speedy Brett Levis, who drilled a shot just over the cross bar. Levis was the key Huskies threat throughout the majority of the match contributing well along side third-year Brandon Holmes and Ebesoh.
Mitrou along with strong defensive play by Michael Abbey (Victoria, B.C.), David Adams (Surrey, B.C.) and Barretthelped keep the Huskies off the board as both teams entered the break without a goal.
Following the break, the Vikes subbed in the offensive combination of Cam Hundal (Terrace, B.C. ), Cameron Stokes (Richmond, B.C.) and Gorman who helped spark UVic offense. In the 46th minute, midfielder Dominic Colantonio (Victoria, B.C.) got good pace behind a shot from far out that went just over the bar and minutes later, Stokes curled a ball back for Adam Ravenhill (Victoria, B.C.) to one time just high.
The increased pressure up front for the Vikes was rewarded when Hundal effortlessly moved past four Huskie defenders to feed Stokes on the right side of the pitch. Stokes crossed the ball in for Barrett, who made his way into the box from the back line to get his second of the season and give the Vikes a 1-0 edge.
Huskie midfielders Dion Morgan and Holmes controlled the middle of the pitch, continually looking for Levin who earned two second-half shots that both went over the bar.
The Vikes advanced by two in the 81st minute when a pretty pacing play allowed the Vikes to get the ball in the six-yard-box. The ball became loose and Huskies defenderTroy Patryluk was unable to clear the ball in the scarmble, allowing Gorman to tap the ball in past Diakiw.
“We played two of the top teams in the Canada West now and got two good results,” said Bruce Wilson, head coach of the Vikes men. “We couldn’t ask for more. We went at them and wanted to win the game for sure but our main goal was to give nothing away – no goals against and we did that.”
The Vikes will face the Fraser Valley Cascades in a double header next weekend, Oct.5 in Abbotsford and Oct. 7 in Victoria, while the Huskies face the Alberta Golden Bears on both Oct. 6 and Oct. 7.
All games will be broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv