Vikes Women finish Canada West Soccer Season in second place

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By Natalie Wise (UVic), With Photos by Mark Yager (ISN)

October 20, 2012, VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes took on the Trinity Western Spartans at Centennial Stadium and were downed 1-0 by the visiting Spartans. The Vikes drop to a final regular season record of 9-2-1 in Canada West while TWU advance to a regular season record of 11-1-0.

The Vikes had the opportunity to go up on the Spartans in the second half after being awarded a penalty kick. Taken by Lindsay Hoetzel (Victoria, BC), the shot went directly to waiting Spartan goalkeeper Kristen Funk and was deflected wide. Several other scrambles in front of the Spartans’ goalmouth went unconverted and the Vikes finished their regular season with a loss to league winners Trinity Western.

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The Vikes’ Brigitt Greig steals the ball from TWU’s Nikki Byrne (Photo: Mark Yager / Island Sports News)

The Spartans played a tough, defensive game after putting themselves on the board with a penalty kick late in the second half. Scored by fourth-year Natalie Boyd, the Spartans kept it safe and left no room for the Vikes to advance.

The bulk of the first half was played in the middle of the park as the Spartans maintained most of the possession but the Vikes remained in contention. Thirteen minutes into the game the Spartans made a play for the first tally of the game when a streaking Krista Gommeringer cut through the middle of the field as she received a ball from outside striker Jenna Di Nunzio at the top of the 18-yard box. Gommeringer was caught by Brigitte Greig (Parksville, BC) and after taking a tumble the Spartans were given a free kick. Taking the opportunity to fire a shot on net, Boyd sent the ball over the crossbar and the game remained deadlocked at 0-0.

Six minutes later the Spartans were given another chance on net with a second foul just outside the 18-yard box but once again the shot by Boyd was sent high. Shortly after, a corner kick by Vike Nathalie Scharf (Salmon Arm, BC) looked dangerous in front of Spartan backstop Funk as Emma Greig (Tofino, BC) got a head on the ball to put it just over the crossbar.

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The Vikes Carley Branion-Calles intercepts TWU’s Nikki Bryne (Photo: Mark Yager / Island Sports News)

The Vikes were given their own free kick opportunity just outside of the 18-yard box after forward Sarah Douglas (London, ONT) was edged off the ball and the referee’s whistle signaled an indirect kick. The ball was sent in by Mallory Hackett (Victoria, BC) but deflected wide by the Trinity defense.

Moments later, the crowd held its breath as a distance shot from Amy Lawrence (Burnaby, BC) was punched into the crossbar by Funk and bounced down right in front of the net. The Vikes were unable to get the rebound and the ball was cleared by the Spartan’s back line as the first half ended with neither side on the scoreboard.

Fifteen minutes into the second 45, the Vikes were given a penalty kick after a Trinity foul inside the 18-yard box. Taken by Hoetzel, she sent the ball into the middle of the goal directly at the waiting Funk for a deflection wide.

After 70 minutes of scoreless play, the Spartans went up by one when the referee signaled a penalty kick after a handball by Greig (Brigitte) inside the 18-yard box. Vikes keeper Stephanie Parker (Chemainus, BC) failed to make the save as the ball was fired high and just below the crossbar by Boyd, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead.

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TWU’s Jilian Dietrich gives Vikes’ Jackie Harrison a good shove. (Photo: Mark Yager / Island Sports News)

 The Spartans turned to a defensive strategy for the remainder of the game in order to protect their 1-0 lead. Several scrambles in front of the Spartans’ net were unsuccessful and the Vikes’ striking line looked out of sorts as they struggled to make good on their opportunities in the goal mouth.

“Credit goes to Spartan’s goalkeeper, Kristen Funk, as she made some great saves,” said the head coach of the Vikes women’s team, Tracy David. “For us, we just can’t miss those penalty kicks and Trinity Western converted theirs. After they scored they defended very well.”

Next up for Trinity Western University is a home game when they host Canada West quarter finals against the team that finishes eighth in the Canada West standings. The University of Victoria Vikes will also host Canada West quarter finals and take on the University of the Fraser Valley at 5:00 p.m. on Oct. 27.

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