By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
October 15, 2013, VICTORIA (ISN) – The 12-game regular season will come to a close for the University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team this weekend as the 2012 CIS bronze medalists will visit Manitoba and Winnipeg Oct. 18-19. This week the Vikes returned to the CIS top-10 polls in the No. 9 spot after a two-week absence and thanks to a five-game undefeated streak and a now 8-2-0 record.
Third-year striker Emma Greig was named a Canada West 2nd Star for this week as the 2012 conference leading goal scorer has scored a goal in each of the past four games including the Oct. 12 game winner over the now unranked Saskatchewan Huskies. Greig is second in points behind senior Jacqueline Harrison who has tallied five goals and two assists. Both Greig and Harrison have started and played all 10 games so far.
This weekend the Vikes will visit Manitoba, currently 1-5-4, and Winnipeg, currently 1-9-0, in hopes of securing their third-straight six-point weekend. The Vikes are joined by five other schools who have already qualified for the conference quarter-finals but valuable points are still on the line this weekend as only the top-4 will earn hosting rights.
Leading the conference is undefeated Alberta, with a record of 8-0-2, while the Thunderbirds and Vikes are two points back of the Pandas with 24 points. The T-Birds are also undefeated at 7-0-3, while the Vikes have yet to concede a tie. On their heels are the Saskatchewan Huskies, who are one point back with a record of 7-2-2. Trinity Western and Calgary round out the remainder of the list qualified for playoffs while Regina, Fraser Valley and Mount Royal will battle for the final two spots.
The Vikes have shown the strength of their bench all season as head coach Tracy David has seen game-winning performances from several of her second-half substitutions. Regular starting standouts Brigitte Greig, Jaclyn Sawicki, Mallory Hackett and Carly Branion-Calles have been solid contributors all over the pitch. The addition of strikersSarah Douglas and Natasha Magnus, as well as defender Elise Butler to the mix has given the Vikes the depth they needed to remain competitive and physical over a two-game weekend.
The Vikes will first face the Manitoba Bisons, on Oct. 18, who are led in scoring by Daniella Scerbo. Scerbo has put up two goals and two assists, while five other players have contributed a single goal in the season. Manitoba boast a deep pocket between the pipes with three goalkeepers getting equal starting time across the past 10 games but primary duties have been dealt to Chloe Werle, who has a save percentage of 0.720.
For the Wesmen, Chelsea Kwasnicki leads the team with two goals, while Taylor Thorkelsson has been the primary netminder. Both the Bisons and Wesmen are on the hunt for their second win of the season.
The playoff picture becomes a lot clearer after this weekend as a top-4 finish will give the Vikes home-field advantage for the Canada West quarter-final single header, set for the weekend of Oct. 26. Following the single knockout, the conference Final 4 will go down Nov. 2-3 at the home turf of the No. 1 seed. Top finishers will qualify for the CIS women’s soccer championship on Nov. 7-18 in Toronto, Ont.
FULL SCHEDULE: http://www.govikesgo.com/schedule.aspx?path=wsoc&tab=soccer2
LIVE STREAM & STATS: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/canadawest.portal#
The Vikes will kick off against Friday against the Bisons and Saturday against the Wesmen. Both games will start at 4 p.m. with webcasting and stats available at http://canadawest.tv