Whitecaps FC edge Vikes in second annual CIS-MLS friendly

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications – Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

March 16, 2013, Victoria, BC (INS) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer fell short, (3-0) on Saturday, to Major League Soccer visitors the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in their annual friendly at Centennial Stadium. The victory brings the ‘Caps and Vikes overall record to 6-1-1 in favour of Whitecaps FC.

It took 35 minutes of play before Camilo Sanvezzo broke the scoring deadlock, after the third-year ‘Caps forward put away a loose ball to give the visitors their first of three goals. First-year Whitecaps FC players Erik Hurtado and Tom Heinemann also notched one each for Vancouver.

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Vikes Gavin Barrett probably had a bit of a stinger after this shot to the head – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

“It was a pleasure to play the Whitecaps and they are a very good team,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson, whose squad entertained a crowd of nearly 2,600. “We played very well in the first half, in particular. We had maybe more chances than them but they scored two just before the half, which killed the game off a little bit.”

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Vikes would find themselves in a tough battle Saturday afternoon against a talented Whitecap Reserve squad. Whitecaps defeated Uvic 3-0 – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Coming off a 3-0 loss on Thursday to the 2013 CIS national champions, the UBC Thunderbirds, Whitecaps FC were definitely focused for the second of their three-game collegiate series. The ‘Caps will also face Simon Fraser University on Mar. 19.

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Whitecaps Greg Klazura steps in front of Vikes Cam Hundel to intercept the ball – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Vikes keeper Elliot Mitrou (Victoria, B.C.) was tested early, as a free kick from just 30 yards out forced the first save of the game, while the Vikes were successful in the other end only minutes later. Finding second-year Cam Hundal (Terrace, B.C. ) appeared crucial for the home side, as the former CIS championship MVP, created havoc and the top of box on his first two touches on the ball.

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Vikes Thomas Mallette would run miles for his Uvic team taking the ball away from Caps Russell Teibert – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The ‘Caps had their first real go at net in the 14th minute when a turn over allowed striker Omar Salgado to gain control in front of the Vikes’ net. His quick footwork allowed him to roll a ball across the top of the box for Sanvezzo. The Brazil native didn’t get as much behind it as he may have liked, allowing Mitrou to easily clean up.

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Vikes Andrew Ravenhill plays a tight game on his man during a friendly against the Vancvouver Whitecaps reserves –
Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Less than 60 seconds later, a ball was flicked on for a lone Craig Gorman (Victoria, B.C.), who had only ‘Caps keeper Brad Knighton to beat from the top of the box. Gorman, like Sanvezzo, didn’t get enough behind the ball, to keep the game entertaining, yet scoreless.

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Vikes Gareth Langdon is tripped up as Caps Matt Watson clears the ball away – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Despite good weather throughout the match, morning rainfall made it difficult for all the players to maintain their footing and in the 26th minute, a slip in the ‘Caps’ backline, allowed a streaking Hundal to gain territory down the left side of the field. Hundal put a dangerous left-footed cross through the box but it continued through to the other side. Vikes striker Thomas Mallette (Trail, B.C.) was first to it and his return cross was again dangerous but untouched.

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Whitecaps Russell Teibert and Vikes Cam Hundel fight for ball posession down the wing – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Whitecaps FC duo Sanvezzo and Salgado continued to threaten the Vikes but a series of slide tackles and composed defensive work by the Victoria backline of Bobby Eng(Richmond, B.C.), Andrew Ravenhill (Victoria, B.C.), Alex Redpath (Terrace, B.C.) and Gavin Barrett (Richmond, B.C.) proved both effective and impressive.

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Wesley Barrett pus the body on a Whitecap to get to the ball – Photo by Erich Erichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

In the 36th minute, Sanvezzo tallied the first goal of the game after he cleaned up an unclaimed ball in the box. Only two minutes later, Sanvezzo fed a long-range pass through the Vikes midfield to find Hurtado in full stride towards goal. Hurtado took on both Eng and Redpath and with some very impressive footwork, was able to slide the ball with his right foot between Mitrou and Redpath to the far post and seal the game’s second goal.

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Camilo Sanvezzo of Brazil shown here putting the ball on net, would open the scoring for his Whitecaps team on a shot that curled its way just past the post – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Despite the 2-0 score line entering the break, the Vikes displayed very solid defense work, led by keeper Mitrou, while the offensive duo of Gorman and Hundal continued to test the Vancouver Whitecaps backline.

In the second half, frustration started to set in the for the Vikes as both Andrew Ravenhill and Gavin Barrett were issued cautions, while Vancouver started to control most of the possession throughout the final 45 minutes.

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Vikes Andrew Ravenhill keeps step with his Whitecap counterpart while in a little hand duel – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

In the 73rd minute, Mallette gave the Vikes a promising chance of the half, as he pressured a long back pass to ‘Caps keeper Knighton. Knighton’s one-time clear went straight to the feet of Vike Kurt Macaulay (Victoria, B.C.), who immediately fed Mallette inside the box but Knighton challenged well to keep the Vikes off the board.

In the 77th minute, midfielder Russell Teibert sent a ball from just inside half on goal. Mitrou mishandled the bouncing ball, allowing a tap-in rebound for second-half substitute Heinemann to clean up to give the ‘Caps a 3-0 edge.

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Fans had no problem showing their Whitecaps support while on Uvic Vikes turf – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The Vikes had a late surge of energy in the final minute of play as Andrew Ravenhill served a dangerous cross in from the left side but Knighton was solid to finish the game with a shutout.

The game closed out at 3-0 in favour of Vancouver Whitecaps FC; however, the game was also an opportunity for both ‘Caps trialists and the young Vikes to be seen by Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie.

“I think we did well at the back,” added Wilson, who played with Whitecaps FC during their formative years in the North American Soccer League from1974 to 1977. “We made a few mistakes in the middle, which is normal when you are playing a professional team. We certainly would have liked to have scored a goal but at the end of the day we are pleased we played the game in front of a good crowd on a sunny day.”

Since 2005, the Vikes and ‘Caps have now faced each other eight times in friendly matches, with the visitors taking the edge in the overall record (6-1-1). In 2012, the Vikes hosted Whitecaps FC, in their inaugural year in the MLS, and were close, losing only 2-1 after the Victoria team hosted and won the 2011 CIS national championship only three months before.

BOX SCORE 

The Vikes men will now prepare for the annual Keg Spring Cup, hosted at Centennial Stadium Mar. 23-24, which will feature Fraser Valley, Trinity Western and UBC. For Whitecaps FC, they will prepare to travel and face Houston in their next MLS regular season game Mar. 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Vikes Starters:

GK Elliot Mitrou, D Gavin Barrett, D Andrew Ravenhill, D

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