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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

November 2, 2012, Langley, BC – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team battled through 120 minutes of scoreless play and 10 penalty kick shooters on Friday to defeat the UBC Thunderbirds 1-0 and move on to the Canada West gold medal final.

The Vikes will face hosts the Trinity Western Spartans tomorrow, Nov. 3, for a shot at the conference banner and a better seeding at the Victoria hosted CIS national Championship, Nov. 8-11.

Eight Vikes shooters were successful from the penalty spot marker before Bijou Leavins (Calgary, AB) sealed the night with the game winner. Fifth-year keeper Stephanie Parker (Chemainus, BC) made two saves in the shoot out to set Leavins up for the game-winner and send the Vikes to their sixth appearance in the Canada West championship final.

The Thunderbirds also capitalized on their first eight attempts from the spot but Parker’s save on both Madison Guy and Taryn Lim became the difference.

“It was a pretty even game with both teams having chances throughout regular time,” said Tracy David, head coach of the Vikes women’s soccer team. “It was a really physical and hard fought game for us. We are now set up to challenge for the Canada West title, which is where we wanted to be all year.”

In the opening half, the Vikes challenged UBC keeper Alyssa Williamson only once, while Canada West Player of the Year Janine Frazao forced Parker to make two saves.

Deadlock continued throughout the second half as the teams traded opportunities. UVic’s Carsen Machin (Richmond, BC) and UBC’s Taylor Shannik and Frazao all had early attempts that failed to hit the target. Canada West leading goal scorer and second-year Vike Emma Greig (Tofino, BC) finally hit the net in the 56th minute but it was denied by Williamson.

Williamson went on to tally two second-half saves, while Parker was forced save back-to-back shots from T-Bird Rachael Sawer. Following regular time, the scoreless deadlock pushed the teams in to two 15-minute over time periods.

Much of the same back-and-forth play continued with both teams playing strong defensive games. The best chance of the game happened in 116th minute of play when Emma Greig sprung fourth-year Lindsay Hoetzel (Victoria, BC) on a one-on-one with UBC keeper Williamson. Hoetzel put herself in great scoring position as she carried the ball wide of Williamson, but the second-year netminder made an outstanding reactionary leg-save to send her team to penalty kicks.

In exciting semifinal fashion, both teams were perfect on their first eight attempts from the penalty spot mark. On UBC’s ninth attempt, taken by Guy, Parker made the save to set her team up for the chance to win. David designated Parker to take the next shot but the fifth-year missed the goal wide left to continue the shoot out.

Parker quickly re-grouped to make a big save on fourth-year striker Lim, re-creating the chance-to-win scenario for Leavins. The social sciences major scored the game-winner on Williamson to credit the Vikes a 1-0 defeat over the powerhouse Thunderbirds and their first chance since their 2008 conference title win, to vy for the Canada West banner.

“I’m really proud of this team for tonight’s performance,” said David after the victory. “Trinity Western will have a big advantage (tomorrow) because they didn’t have to play the late game or play an extra 30 minutes. Tomorrow we will need to rely on some of our players that didn’t play as much tonight but that is where the depth on this team, which has been so good all season, will really become a factor.”

WIth the win, the Vikes will face hosts, the Trinity Western Spartans, in the Canada West championship game tomorrow, Nov. 3, at 6:00 p.m. The Spartans defeated the Regina Cougars in the first semifinal match 2-0. Both the Vikes and Spartans qualify for the CIS national championship, Nov. 8-11 in Victoria, with tomorrow’s game set to dictate their seeding for first-round nationals play.

The UBC Thunderbirds will play the Regina Cougars for Canada West bronze tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Both games are hosted in Langley, B.C. and live stats will be available athttp://canadawest.tv