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By Natalie Wise, Vikes Communications

October 26, 2012, VICTORIA – On a rainy Friday night in Victoria, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team overcame a slow start to dominate the Mount Royal University Cougars 3-0 at Centennial Stadium. The Vikes now improve to a record of 6-5-2 while the Cougars drop to 4-9-1.

The University of Victoria Vikes’ Nicholas Mavrikos (Victoria, B.C.) opened the scoring in the third minute of play but the Cougars stymied the home side for the next 42 minutes of play as the first half ended without another tally. The Vikes struggled to convert their first-half opportunities, out-shooting the Cougars 14-1 and failing to capitalize on an incredible 10 corner kicks. With a second goal coming in the 60th minute from left midfielder Cam Hundal (Terrace, B.C. ) the Vikes seemed to have found some steady ground as a flurry of opportunity presented itself to the UVic men. Hundal notched his second of the game, and second of the season, in the 83rd minute to solidify the Vikes’ home turf victory.

In only their first year in the CIS, the Mount Royal Cougars were handed their ninth loss and now post a Canada West record of 4-9-1. The Cougars had few opportunities on net as the Vikes’ backline held strong and UVic keeper Elliot Mitrou (Victoria, B.C.) was largely untested. Gustavo Becerra was key for the visiting side, generating what little attack the Cougars were able to produce.

The first half was a one-sided affair as the Vikes maintained the majority of possession and UVic backstop Mitrou had only to make one save. In the first four minutes of play the Vikes took advantage of a fumbled ball by Cougars keeper Kamil Zielinksi. The ball was arced in off of a corner kick taken by Andrew Ravenhill (Victoria, B.C.) and Zielinski jumped up to make the save. Slick from the rain, the ball was dropped by Zielinski and Mavrikos capitalized on the keeper’s error.

In the opening minute of the second half, the Cougars were once again immediately on their heels after a giveaway was dished off to Vikes’ third-year Langara College-transfer Cameron Stokes (Richmond, B.C.). Driving the ball into the 18-yard box, Stokes launched the shot only to ping it off of the crossbar. Going in for the header, Mavrikos sent the ball just over the top of the net.

In the 77th minute, gunning for his second goal, Hundal intercepted the ball at the half and took it through the middle of the pitch. After dancing through the Cougars’ backline, Hundal went one-on-one against Zielinski and shot the ball short side, skimming the left post and travelling out.

Just under 10 minutes later, Hundal secured the game for the Vikes with an individual effort goal after speeding past several Cougars’ defensemen to fire the ball to the right and across the line. The final score was 3-0 in favour of the Vikes.

“What I liked about our performance tonight, besides our domination, was that we didn’t give them very many opportunities,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson. “It was nice to see Cam score some goals, he has been electrifying for us all season but he has had trouble putting the ball across the line.”

The Mount Royal University Cougars will now take on the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades tomorrow, Oct. 27, at 7:15 p.m. in Chilliwack, B.C. The Vikes are guaranteed a spot in the conference final six and tomorrow is merely a wrap-up of their regular season. The UVic men will take on the visiting University of Winnipeg Wesmen at 7:15 p.m. once again in Centennial Stadium.