Vikes set to challenge for second CIS title

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

November 7, 2012, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team will hit the pitch at 7 p.m PST Thursday for the 2012 CIS women’s soccer national championship and they will have a bit of an edge since the pitch happens to be Centennial Stadium, home of the Vikes.

The tournament is set to kick off Thursday, Nov. 8 with quarter-final games at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

FULL SCHEDULE (PDF) / LIVE VIDEO & STATS

The Vikes women posted a 9-2-1 regular season record and were 4-1-1 at Centennial Stadium. The Vikes opened their season with a seven-game undefeated streak, only conceding two goals in that span. The deep team of 27 were nationally ranked for six of nine weeks of CIS top 10 polls. They finished their season with their highest ranking in the polls at fourth place.

Second-year striker Canada West First Team All-Star Emma Greig (Tofino, BC) propelled the Vikes forward in scoring, leading the Canada West with 14 goals and scoring three hat tricks throughout the regular season. In addition, the Vikes had four others named conference all-stars including goalkeeper Stephanie Parker (Chemainus, BC) midfielder and U-20 Canadian team player Jaclyn Sawicki (Coquitlam, BC), midfielder Jacqueline Harrison (Whitehorse, YT) and defender and sister to Emma, Brigitte Greig(Parksville, BC).

Despite the all-star nods going to five players on the squad, Vikes women’s soccer head coach Tracy David has leaned on the depth of her squad all season, often starting an almost brand new team at the half that continues both the momentum and results.

Following a solid regular season, the Vikes earned the right to host the first round of the post-season – a quarter-final match up against the Fraser Valley Cascades. The Vikes women powered to a 3-0 win over the Cascades before making the trek to Langley, where they faced powerhouses UBC and Trinity Western in the Final Four.

The UVic side gutted out 120 minutes of scoreless play only to find themselves at the penalty kick mark 10 times before moving on the conference final. Second year defender Bijou Leavins (Calgary, AB) scored the game-winner on UVic’s 10th kick to seal the deal to play for gold. The Thunderbirds settled for conference bronze after defeating Regina 1-0.

In the conference final, the Vikes were bested 2-1 by the Trinity Western Spartans who, on their home field, captured their second-consecutive Canada West banner. The Spartans had a steller season going 11-1-0 in regular season play to finish 3-0 in the post-season and claim the Canada West berth to nationals.

The Vikes, though falling short-handed in the conference, enter the tournament in the host berth and will face the RSEQ (Quebec) conference champions, Sherbrooke Vert et Or. The game will take place at Centennial Stadium at 7 p.m. PST and will also be broadcast live at http://cis-sic.tv

Tickets are available at the gate. More information: http://govikesgo.com/ciswsoc

QUARTER-FINAL LOOK

11:00 AM – Ottawa Gee-Gees vs. Cape Breton Capers

OTTAWA GEE-GEES // OUA CHAMPIONS

14-0-2 regular season, 3-0 playoffs

The Ottawa Gee-Gees were ranked No. 1 in the CIS for the last six top-10 polls in the 2012 season. The Gee-Gees went undefeated in the OUA regular season to earn a bye into the East Division semifinals where they defeated the Carleton Ravens 1-0. At the OUA Final Four, the Gee-Gees defeated McMaster 1-0 in the East-West cross-over match before going on to win the conference banner 1-0 over Laurier in over time. In the East Division, Ottawa won three of the four major awards. Fifth-year defender Gillian Baggott was named both the OUA East and CIS Player of the Year, while head coach Steve Johnson was named OUA East Coach of the Year and the CIS Coach of the Year conference nominee.

Players to watch: GK Cynthia LeBlanc, D Gillian Baggott, M Christine Hardie, M Julia Francki, F Pilar Khoury, M Corina Jarrett

CAPE BRETON CAPERS // AUS FINALISTS

10-0-3 regular season, 1-1 playoffs

Cape Breton had a near-perfect season after going undefeated through the regular season under long time head coach Ness Timmons, who was named the 2012 AUS Coach of the Year for the fifth time. The Capers finished the regular season in the top spot to earn a bye into the semifinals, where they cruised over Saint Mary’s 3-0. The Capers fell 3-1 in a dramatic rivalry match with the Dalhousie Tigers to finish with a conference silver medal. For their performance, coach Timmons was honoured as the CIS Coach of the Year for the second time, while AUS Rookie of the Year Chelsea Currie was honoured as a CIS Second Team All-Canadian. Defender Robyn McNeill was given First Team honours.

Players to watch: F Chelsea Currie, D Robbyn McNeill, D Allison Bell-Davies, F Shanice Maxwell

1:30 p.m. Dalhousie Tigers vs. Queen’s Gaels

DALHOUSIE TIGERS // AUS CHAMPIONS

10-2-1 regular season, 2-0 playoffs

The Dalhousie Tigers conceded only two losses throughout their regular season to earn a bye into the AUS conference semifinals. The Tigers’ two regular season losses were to Cape Breton but an upset 3-1 win in the conference final gave the Tigers the AUS top-seed entering the CIS championship. Previously, the Tigers defeated UPEI in the semifinal 1-0 to secure their spot at the CIS national championship. Dalhousie’s fifth-year captain Rieka Santilli scored six goals and was honoured as AUS MVP and a CIS First Team All-Canadian. Forward Emma Landry was given the Second Team nod by the CIS as the Tigers vie for their third CIS national title. Their previous titles came in 1999 and 2000.

Players to watch: M Rieka Santilli, F Emma Landry, D Kristy McGregor-Bales, GK Taryn McKenna

QUEEN’S GAELS // OUA BRONZE MEDALLISTS

11-2-3 regular season, 2-1 playoffs

The Gaels only conceded two losses in their regular season to earn a bye into the OUA East Division semifinal. Queen’s survived a nail biter against the Toronto Varsity Blues to come away with a 3-1 over time win and a chance to play for the conference title. The two-time defending national champions crossed over against Laurier who pushed the game into penalty kicks. The Golden Hawks prevailed 5-4 to leave the Gaels settling for a 2-1 victory over McMaster for OUA bronze. The Gaels boast striker Jackie Tessier, who scored 14 regular season goals and was named a CIS Second Team All-Canadian. Queen’s had five players named OUA All-Stars this season.

Players to watch: D Jessie de Boer, M Riley Filion, F Jackie Tessier, D Mikyla Kay, M Alexis McKlinty

4:30 p.m. Trinty Western Spartans vs. Laurier Golden Hawks

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS // CANADA WEST CHAMP

11-1-0 regular season, 3-0 playoffs

The Spartans did everything right to earn the conference title for the second year in a row. The Spartans were nationally ranked in the top four all season after conceding only one defeat to the Alberta Pandas. The Spartans boast the conference’s top rookie in Krista Gommeringer, who started every game and ended the regular season with 13 goals and nine assists. The Spartans are also backed by fifth-year Kristen Funk in goal, who was also named a conference first team all-star. The Spartans blanked Manitoba 2-0 in the Canada West quarter-finals and Regina 2-0 in the semifinals to pit themselves against the UVic Vikes. The Spartans got two goals from Gommeringer to win 2-1 and clench their fifth, and second-straight, Canada West banner.

Players to watch: GK Kristen Funk, M Natalie Boyd, D Colleen Webber, F Krista Gommeringer, D Nikki Byrne, D Jennifer Castillo

LAURIER GOLDEN HAWKS // OUA FINALISTS

11-2-3 regular season, 2-1 playoffs

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks put on quite a show pushing the power house Ottawa Gee-Gees to extra time in the OUA conference final. Laurier earned a bye into the West Division semifinals, where they eased 5-1 over Guelph to advance to the Final Four. The Golden Hawks crossed over against Queen’s, where Kiara Reyes scored in sudden death penalty kicks to advance to the final. Despite losing 1-0 in over time to the Gee-Gees, Laurier was awarded their third-straight OUA West Division MVP honours, which went to Emily Brown. The Hawks had four players named OUA West Division All-Stars and two CIS All-Canadians in defender Kelsey Tikka and striker Brown.

Players to watch: D Kelsey Tikka, M Katie Bishop, F Emily Brown, F Krista Cellucci, GK Katrina Ward, M Julie Maheu

7:00 p.m. UVic Vikes vs. Sherbrooke Vert et Or

VICTORIA VIKES // TOURNAMENT HOST

9-2-1 regular season, 2-1 playoffs (CW Finalists)

The Vikes opened their season with a seven-game undefeated streak, only conceding two goals in that span. The Vikes were nationally ranked six of nine weeks with their highest being fourth in the last week. Second-year Emma Greig led the team and the Canada West with 14 goals. The Vikes hosted and defeated Fraser Valley 3-0 in the conference quarter-final before defeating UBC after 10 rounds of penalty kicks in the semifinal. Bijou Leavins scored the game winner after 120 minutes of scoreless play. The Vikes fell 2-1 in a physical Canada West final against Trinity Western, resulting in them taking the host berth.

Players to watch: F Emma Greig, M Jaclyn Sawicki, M Jackie Harrison, D Brigitte Greig, GK Stephanie Parker

SHERBROOKE VERT & OR // RSEQ CHAMPIONS

10-3-1 regular season, 2-0 playoffs

Sherbrooke earned their first RSEQ title in 25 years after upsetting the Montreal Carabins 2-0 in the conference final for the lone berth to the national championship. Prior to the conference final, Sherbrooke defeated McGill 2-1 in the RSEQ semifinal. Sherbrooke finished second in the regular season standings with some help from RSEQ Rookie of the Year Marie-Ève Jacques. Fifth-years Andréanne Gagné and Élyse Turcotte were honoured as First and Second Team CIS All-Canadians, respectively. Additionally, fifth-year midfielder Emily Duquette was named the conference’s Community Service award winner.

Players to watch: F Marie-Ève Jacques, M Andréanne Gagné, D Élyse Turcotte, F Chloé Belhumeur limoges, M Sabrina Hémond, M Isabelle Genest

 

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