By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
November 9, 2012, VICTORIA, BC – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team’s golden dreams ended in heart break, as the tournament hosts lost 1-0 in semifinal action to rivals, the Trinity Western Spartans on Friday night.
The loss sends the Vikes to the bronze-medal match against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, while the Spartans advance to the CIS championship final against two-time defending champions, the Queen’s Gaels.
“I think defensively as a whole we played pretty well tonight,” said Tracy David, head coach of the Vikes. “We had one moment and that’s the thing in soccer you can never have that mental lapse or break down and that’s how they set up their goal.”
Spartans midfielder Natalie Boyd tallied in the 36th minute to guarantee Trinity Western a medal on Sunday, while the Vikes put up an emotional battle right until the final whistle.
As anticipated, both Canada West teams played a tight defensive game right off the kick off. The Vikes had their lone first-half opportunity in the sixth minute of play when midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki (Coquitlam, BC) crossed a brilliant ball into the box but Emma Greig’s header fired over the bar.
Mid-way through the half, the Spartans found their footing, almost capitalizing on a shot by Alicia Tesan that went over the bar in the 27th minute. Only two minutes later, Tesan teed up a corner kick that Jennifer Castillo headed high at the relief of Vikes keeper Stephanie Parker (Chemainus, BC).
Fourth-year Boyd broke the dead lock for Trinity Western on a diving header at the near post after Jilian Dietrich got in behind Victoria’s back four to serve the ball from the right side. The 1-0 lead for the Spartans is familiar territory, as the visitors have scored first against the Vikes in both their previous 2012 conference match ups.
Both teams re-created the physical and competitive game that happened only one week previous in the Canada West final, where the Spartans prevailed 2-1 for the conference banner. The Spartans were cautioned 7-4 over the Vikes in first-half fouls but hung on to their 1-0 lead entering the break.
In the second half scoring opportunities seemed limited for both teams until Boyd had an opportunity to notch her second of the game for the Spartans in the 63rd minute. Rookie Krista Gommeringer showed her lethality as she took a crack from the top of the 18-yard box forcing Parker to give up a rebound that she scrambled to recover before Boyd could connect.
Play quickly transitioned to the other end as Emma Greig slotted a promising pass between two Trinity Western defenders to an open Jacqueline Harrison (Whitehorse, YT) in the 65th minute. Harrison wasn’t able to get a quality shot off and Spartans fifth-year keeper Kristen Funk was able to handle the ball from close range.
The Vikes played to the final minutes of desperation but Boyd’s goal stood as the game-winner, ending the Vikes’ chance for their second championship title.
“Credit to both teams tonight – they gave everything and played their hearts out,” said Spartans head coach Graham Roxburgh, in his 13th season. “We knew it was going to come down to one or two chances and we buried our chances and then hung on.”
The Vikes and Gee-Gees will kick off on Sunday at 11:30 a.m., while the gold medal match between the Spartans and Gaels will go at 2:00 p.m. All games will be broadcast live at http://cis-sic.tv
Game notes: The Trinity Western Spartans have yet to concede a loss in a CIS championship semifinal.