Branion-Calles scores late as Vikes take down defending national champs

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

September 14, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team scored in added time to hand Trinity Western Spartans their first loss on home turf in 18 regular season games on Sept. 13 in Langley, B.C.

The Vikes defeated the reigning CIS national champions 2-1 to advance 2-0-0, while the Spartans are now 0-1-1.

“We were pretty composed overall and we didn’t force matters,” said Vikes head coach Tracy David. “I’m really proud of all of our players for not losing their cool and for believing right to the very end that we could do it.” 

Carlita Branion-Calles was the hero, scoring the game winner in extra time after a brilliant solo effort. Senior Jackie Harrison was the first Vike to get on the board after she finished a penalty kick in the 50th minute after striker Emma Greig was hauled down in the box.

The Spartans edged the Vikes 14-8 in shots, with goal scorer Nikki Wright taking credit for four of those. Wright scored in the 85th minute to tie the game at one giving Trinity Western a spark of momentum. The No. 1 Spartans came close on several attempts in the dying minutes of the match but Vikes keeper Tanya Jones stymied all opportunities, making two key saves in the match.

The visiting Vikes traded pockets of possession with the Spartans in the opening half. CIS stand outs Alicia Tesan and Natalie Boyd each tested keeper Jones in the opening 10 minutes of play but while Alessandra Oliverio neared an opportunity in the 18th minute but the ball went over the bar.

The Vikes struggled to get a shot on net in the opening half but did well defensively and through the midfield to keep the game 0-0 at the break.

In the 50th minute, Branion-Calles sent a slicing pass to send Emma Greig on a run. Greig drew two players in the box and as she cut the ball inside was taken down by Spartans last-man-back Colleen Webber. Harrison stepped up to the plate on the resulting penalty kick and slotted it low and hard past Trinity Western keeper Rachel Bedek to lift the Vikes 1-0.

The Vikes sat on their goal for nearly 35 minutes until Wright tied the game up with five minutes left to play. Following a goal kick, the UVic squad was unable to win the ball and Trinity Western countered to spring Wright free on the right side of the pitch. Fourth-year striker Wright slotted the ball past Jones to give the home team a momentum lifting goal and tie the game 1-1.

The Spartans had back-to-back corner kicks that looked promising, with Wright getting her head on one that just went wide right of the net. In the other end, Branion-Calles found some room down the right side and eliminated two Spartans defenders before sending a booming shot over the head of Bedek for the late winning-goal.

Following the final whistle, the Vikes celebrated as their 2-1 victory over the CIS defending champions was also the first loss for the Spartans on Rogers Field in the last 18 regular season matches.

“We are going to enjoy this moment right now and then tomorrow is another day,” added David about the quick turn around in games. “We know the competition that we face tomorrow and we have to be prepared for the game – physically and mentally.”

FULL SCHEDULE  /  BOX SCORE 

In 2012, the Vikes were edged by no more than one goal in three season match ups including losing to the Spartans in the Canada West final and the CIS semifinals. With a huge win now in their back pocket, the Vikes will turn around to face the No. 7 UBC Thunderbirds Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Thunderbird Stadium. Live stats for the game will be available at http://uvic.canadawest.tv

SCORING SUMMARY

UVIC: 0 – 2 : 2

TWU: 0 – 1 : 1

UVIC: Jackie Harrison (50′), Carlita Branion-Calles (90′)

TWU: Nikki Wright (85′)

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