By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
November 3, 2012, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team suffered more than a just a 2-1 loss and Canada West title to the Trinity Western Spartans on Nov. 3 in Langley, B.C. In a physical and emotion-high battle, both teams traded cautions and injuries despite both teams already having qualified for the CIS national championship next week, Nov. 8-11.
The Trinity Western Spartans took a 2-0 lead on goals from Canada West Rookie of the Year Krista Gommeringer, who scored in the 25th and 68th minute of play. UVic’s Carsen Machin (Richmond, BC) was the lone goal scorer for the visitors as she connected on a Mallory Hackett (Victoria, BC) corner kick in the 75th minute.
In total, the Spartans received three yellow cards and one red card ejection, while the referee went to his pocket for two yellow cards to the Vikes and an ejection for head coach Tracy David. This is the first ejection for the six-time Canada West Coach of the Year, who has 26 years of Canada West women’s soccer coaching under her belt.
“In territorial advantage, I really thought we were the better team today,” said David. “It was a crazy game but I am so proud of our team. They fought an fought and fought. They never quit and had a never-say-die attitude and we just happened to fall a bit short.”
With the Canada West banner on the line and national championship seeding looming, both teams put up a physical and gritty conference final that both sides argued was tainted by the officiating. David faced ejection for commentary to the fourth official in the 50th minute, while Spartans starting midfielder Vanessa Kovacs was sent to the dressing room in the 90th minute.
As anticipated, play moved from end to end as fifth-year Canada West All-Star keepers Stephanie Parker, for the Vikes and Kristen Funk, for the Spartans were called upon to make two saves each in the opening half. Gommeringer scored in the 25th minute after she intercepted a UVic pass between the backline and fired a shot in to the top right corner to take the 1-0 lead into the break.
In the 50th minute of play, Vikes defender Carly Branion-Calles was taken down and the no-call play sparked the UVic bench, which resulted in David’s ejection.
The Spartans extended their lead by two when Gommeringer capitalized on a break away that was set up by a right side attack from Isabella Di Trocchio. Only seven minutes following, UVic’s Machin found her way up front to head in Hackett’s corner kick to put the Vikes within one.
In the 90th minute, Trinity Western’s Kovacs was sent off for a hard slide tackle above the ankle on UVic second-year and Canada West All-Star Emma Greig. Just prior to the card, Vikes fifth-year Janelle Smith was also taken out hard in a scary moment as the senior midfielder took a long time to make her way to the bench.
“It was such a physical battle out there,” said David, who will have a good look at her bench for next week’s national championship. “It was tough and costly. Both teams suffered injuries and it was a very emotion-charged game.”
For their goal scoring, Machin and Gommeringer were given the game MVP nods, while the Spartans earned the Canada West banner and the conference No. 1 seed at the CIS national championship.
The Vikes, as Canada West silver medallists, will re-group for their CIS quarter-final match up on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. against the conference winner from the RSEQ (Quebec), either Sherbrooke or Montreal. Trinity Western will face the silver mealist of the Ontario University Athletics conference, either Ottawa or Laurier, at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 8.
All games from the CIS national championship, hosted in Victoria at Centennial Stadium, will be streamed live with live stats at http://cis-sic.ca