No. 4 Vikes set to test Western rivals Spartans, Thunderbirds

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

September 10, 2013, VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer will have their work cut out for them this weekend, Sept. 13-14, as they face two CIS top-10 teams. On Friday, UVic will visit the No. 1-ranked Trinity Western Spartans and only a day later, the No. 7 UBC Thunderbirds will entertain the Vikes.

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“We look forward to playing Trinity Western and UBC because they are always very, very competitive battles,” said Vikes head coach Tracy David. “These games test us and push us to our limits. In order to beat them, we have to step outside our comfort zone. It puts on our edge and of course, in order to be the best, you have to beat the best.”

Last weekend, Sept. 7, the Vikes opened their season with a 4-1 win over the UNBC Timberwolves. Central midfielder Jacqueline Harrison was honoured as this week’s 2ndStar of the Week for her two-goal performance, while Jaclyn Sawicki and Maryse Reichgeld also got on the board.

The Vikes struggled score after out-shooting the Timberwolves 30-1 but found some breathing room with rookie substitute Elise Butler. Butler made her Vikes debut on defence and was pivotal in setting up Reichgeld’s goal.

The mixture of experience and youth will be to the Vikes’ advantage as veteran players Brigitte Gregg, Lindsay HoetzelMallory Hackett, Sawicki and Harrison have already shown their dominance on the field.  In addition, senior keeper Tanya Jones, who gets her first crack at a starting spot for the season, will be looking to improve after allowing a goal in the seventh minute against UNBC.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the performance of some of our first year players in the big games,” added David. “I’m sure they will rise to the occasion.”

This past weekend, the Spartans and Thunderbirds neutralized each other to a 0-0 draw that resulted in the then –No.10 Thunderbirds to move up to No. 7 in the CIS polls, while the Spartans maintain their stake at No. 1.

In 2012, the Vikes faced split their record, winning 3-2 over UBC and losing 1-0 to Trinity Western, in the regular season. The rivalry extended into the post-season as the Vikes knocked the Thunderbirds out of a berth to the Victoria-hosted CIS national championship, conquering them 1-0 after 10 penalty kicks to advance to the Canada West Finals. The victory pitted the Vikes against the Spartans, in Langley, B.C., for the Canada West title. The 2-1 win for the Spartans was barely indicative of the game that was heated and competitive as four Spartans and three Vikes were cautioned, while two overall were ejected.

The Vikes and Spartans met again in the semifinals at the CIS championship, with the Spartans again edging the Vikes 1-0 to eventually go on to win the overall title over the two-time defending champion Queen’s University.

Regardless, UBC, Trinity Western and Victoria have all seen a high amount of turn over. Fresh faces and new guards will make for an exciting weekend of Canada West soccer. All games will be broadcast live at http://canadawest.tv

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS
2012 conference record: 11-1-0 (1st)
2012 playoffs: 6-0 (CW & CIS champions)
Last CW title: 2012
Last CIS title: 2012
CIS Ranking: #1
CW Ranking: #1

Key additions: G Rachel Bedek, F Megan Theroux, M Madison Higginbotham
Key departures: G Kristen Funk, D Jilian Dietrich, D Nikki Byrne, M Tessa Meyer

UBC THUNDERBIRDS
2012 conference record: 8-2-2 (3rd)
2012 playoffs: 1-1
Last CW title: 2007
Last CIS title: 2006
CIS ranking: #10
CW ranking: #3

Key additions: Aman Shergill (D); Jasmine Dhanda (F)
Key returnees: Ally Williamson (GK); Jordan Kitagawa (D), Alisha Penev (D); Janine Frazao (F), Rachel Sawer (F), Taryn Lim (F)
Key departures: Leah Peric (G); Kelly Cook (D); Rachel Ramsden (M)

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