By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
September 4, 2013, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team will pick up where they left off after they captured last season’s CIS bronze-medal at Centennial Stadium. The Vikes will have a different core after seeing the graduation of five players including veteran keeper Stephanie Parker but the group will begin their journey this weekend, Sept. 7, hosting the UNBC Timberwolves.
A new wave of players will shape the 2013-14 squad that will be run by head coach Tracy David, who enters her 12th season with the Vikes. David, a six-time Canada West Coach of the Year, enters the season with a squad ranked No. 3 in the CIS preseason polls. The Vikes were also ranked second in the Canada West behind last year’s CIS champions, the Trinity Western Spartans.
The biggest turnover will be between the pipes, where senior goalkeeper Tanya Jones will assume the starting role after training with Parker for four seasons. Canadian Under-21 team member Jaclyn Sawicki will return as the spark for the midfield line and in combination with central midfielder Jackie Harrison, will likely be the main catalysts for attack. Both Sawicki, Harrison and Brigitte Greig were named to the 2012 Canada West All-Star list.
“Jaclyn and Jackie will be important distributors in our midfield,” explained David. “In addition, Brigitte brings a lot of experience and will be the anchor for our back four.”
Up front the Vikes will look to 2012 Canada West leading goal scorer Emma Greig, who will suit up for her third season. The striker notched 14 goals in 12 games for the Vikes last season and David will be looking to combine the talents of Emma Greig and fifth-year Lindsay Hoetzel on the forward line.
With the turnover, David will enjoy a fresh-faced recruiting class that is highlighted by rookie keeper Austin Studer, who offers a healthy height of five-foot-eleven. In addition David has been impressed in the pre-season with local product Elise Butler, who joins the defensive unit, as well as Natasha Magnus, a midfielder hailing from the Whitecaps FC program.
“We are definitely not the same team as last year but we still have the same goals of getting to and winning nationals,” said David. “It is definitely not easy in this conference but we will take it one game at a time and take every opportunity to get stronger and be ready to go for nationals.”
The Timberwolves, who enter only their second season in the Canada West, had a 0-9-3 season finishing in 2012 and will be looking to continue their development. In the preseason, Prince George native Sydney Hall had a three-goal game in the TImberwolves’ 4-3 victory over Grand Prairie Regional College.
2012 playoff record: 2-1 (2nd)
2012 CIS Tournament placing: 2-1 (bronze)
2012 Conference Record: 9-2-1
Last CW title: 2008-09
Last CIS title: 2005-06
CIS preseason Ranking: 3rd
CW preseason Ranking: 2nd
Key Returnees: M Jaclyn Sawicki, M Jackie Harrison, D Brigitte Greig, F Emma Greig, GK Tanya Jones, F Lindsay Hoetzel
Key Additions: M Natasha Magnus, D Elise Butler, GK Austin Studer, GK Lauren Askew
Key Departures: D Tessa Margetts, GK Stephanie Parker, M Nathalie Scharf, M Janelle Smith, D Carsen Machin