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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

October 19, 2012, VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team beat the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 2-1 at home Friday to advance to a 9-1-1 record in the Canada West while the Thunderbirds drop to 7-2-2.

The Vikes’ striking line was in fine form with a goal in the 24th minute from Emma Greig (Tofino, BC) and after a brilliant play down the right wing by fifth-year midfielder Nathalie Scharf (Salmon Arm, BC), another was tallied by Jacqueline Harrison (Whitehorse, YT) in the 32nd minute. It was a well-matched battle between the two Pacific powerhouses and neither side conceded much but the Vikes were able to hold on to their lead.

The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds battled until late in the second half, in the 76th minute, for a goal from midfielder Taylor Shannickbut it was a case of too little too late for the T-Birds and they were unable to take the UVic women to a draw.

The first fifteen minutes of the game were spent in the Vikes’ defensive end as the T-Birds had the run of the play. However, several opportunities went unconverted and with a change of possession and a dangerous-looking header by third-year Mallory Hackett (Victoria, BC), the UVic women had UBC on their heels.

In the 28th minute Greig opened the scoring to notch her fourteenth goal of the season and gave the Vikes the opportunity to go one-up on the scoreboard. A perfectly placed cross from Jaclyn Sawicki (Coquitlam, BC) saw the second-year striker head the ball just past T-Birds’ keeper Alyssa Williamson. The Vikes scored again in the 32nd minute after a breakaway play by Scharf led to a goal by Harrison streaking down the middle of the pitch for the two-on-one play past Williamson.

The start of the second half was a tepid affair as both teams played it safe and the Vikes protected their 2-0 lead. The best opportunity of the second half for UVic came when fifth-year Janelle Smith (Vernon, BC) took the ball down the right wing for another two-on-one opportunity with fellow Vike Jana Yates (Summerland, BC) but an interception by the T-Birds’ defense saw the chance go unconverted.

In the 76th minute the T-Birds made an effort to come back with a goal by Shannick. Taryn Lin crossed the ball into the 18-yard box and Shannick was just barely able to get her toe on it to slide it past sprawling UVic keeper Stephanie Parker (Chemainus, BC).

“We had a very good first half and got some great chances,” said Vikes women’s head coach Tracy David. “We also played very tough defensively and we didn’t want to give UBC anything. When we did, they scored. They’re a very competitive side.”

The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds will travel back to Vancouver to take on the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades at 5 p.m. while the Vikes continue their weekend at home against Trinity Western University tomorrow at 5 p.m. at Centennial Stadium. The UVic game will be broadcast live at http://uvic.canadawest.tv