By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
October 27, 2012, VICTORIA – In typical underdog fashion, the Winnipeg Wesmen defeated the University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team 2-0 after weather conditions forced a last minute venue change from Centennial Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Wesmen picked up their second win of the season after out-playing a frustrated Vikes side.
The Wesmen opened the scoring in the 38th minute after a long ball into the box was headed into the bottom left corner by fourth-year Adam Bromley. The Wesmen created several chances for themselves, as the resilient Canada West newcomers were rewarded again in the 61st minute, when Richard Rundle drilled a shot in to give Winnipeg their 11th goal of the season.
The Vikes men struggled with the last-minute change to the shorter, artificial turf pitch and ran into foul trouble early as the Wesmen’s grit and composure forced the Vikes to concede 11 fouls and three cautions. Vikes midfielders Dominic Colantonio, Sam Prette and Gareth Langdon generated the majority of the Vikes’ opportunities but Wesmen keeper Tyson Farago stood tall, making nine saves in the game.
In their final regular season game and with a playoff berth already secured, Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson, started a line up without regulars Cam Hundal, Cameron Stokes, Nicholas Mavrikos, Andrew Ravenhill and Craig Gorman.
“It wasn’t a good game for us at all and certainly playing on this artificial surface doesn’t help either,” said Wilson after the loss. “Having said that, we rested our first team and got a chance to play all our other players and that was the purpose of the game for us – to get all our players in for 90 minutes.”
Second-year midfielder Spencer MacKinnon (Abbotsford, B.C.) was the first to test Wesmen keeper Farago, when he connected well to head a ball on target in the 9th minute.
Two minutes following, Wesmen midfielder Scott Ansell fired a ball on target, which was saved by Vikes keeper Elliot Mitrou (Victoria, B.C.). Mitrou gave up a rebound that allowed Wesmen forward Ross Pinhammer to blast another shot but that one went wide.
A series of attacks led by Winnipeg’s Yiannis Tsalatsidis, Pinhammer and Rundle continued to motivate the Wesmen’s energy forward as they hung on for the 1-0 lead entering the break.
The Vikes men pressed in the second half with several good attempts from distance led by Kurt Macaulay (Victoria, B.C.), Colantonio and Prette. Winnipeg keeper Farago was outstanding in the second half and dominated in the box, making every save needed including a shot from point blank by Prette.
In the 61st minute, Tolosa put the Wesmen up by two after Mitrou made an initial save and punched the ball out of the box but a distracted defence line left Tolosa the chance fire at will. Tolosa sent a ball high into the net to send his team celebrating as the Wesmen handed the Vikes their first loss at home.
The Wesmen improved their final standings to 2-10-3, while the Vikes drop to 6-6-2. Despite the loss, the Vikes will still advance to the Canada West Final Six in Edmonton next weekend, Nov. 3-4. Along with the Vikes, UBC, Trinity Western and Alberta have all qualified for post-season play.
All the Canada West playoff games will be available live from the University of Alberta at http://canadawest.tv
VIC: 0 – 0 : 0
WPG: 1 – 1 : 2
Winnipeg: Adam Bromley (38′), Ralph Tolosa (61′)
VIC: Elliot Mitrou, 90 MP, 2 GA
WPG: Tyson Farago, 90 MP, 0 GA