by James Nielsen, Vikes Communications
February 16, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team returned to Centennial Stadium, February 16 to face MLS franchise Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the third annual match between the two clubs.
The ‘Caps posted a late tally in the 90th minute to defeat the Vikes, who received a standout performance from goalkeeper Noah Pawloski in front of 2500 fans.
The Whitecaps first opportunity on net came early from second-year Whitecap Erik Hurtado, who crossed a ball through the box that was cleared out of harms way by fourth-year senior Alex Redpath.
Minutes later, Whitecaps forward Darren Mattocks also received a great opportunity to put his side up a goal, landing the ball inside the six-yard box that was then deflected high over Vikes’ keeper Pawloski.
Fernandez had his own opportunity to make his mark on the game when he fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box just minutes later, but the shot sailed into harmlessly into Pawloski’s arms.
The Vikes’ top opportunity to score in the first half came off the foot of fourth-year Vike Craig Taylor, who brushed past London native Nigel Reo-Coker and fired a left-footed blast on net from 25-feet out that was saved by ‘Caps keeper Marco Carducci.
Strong defensive play by the Vikes in the first half resulted in both teams heading to the dressing room in a scoreless deadlock.
“I thought it was good team performance throughout the game,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson. “We moved very well, we defended in numbers and we made it difficult for them. Starting with our goalkeeper, we were able to stay in the game.”
The second half featured more of the same play for both sides, with the Whitecaps pressing but unable to solve Pawloski and the Vikes defence.
Redpath made another key defensive play in the 85th minute when he fired a rolling ball out of the Vikes zone before any Whitecaps striker could make a potential play.
Both teams looked to be heading to a draw until the final minute of play when ‘Caps midfielder Andre Lewis found the ball just outside the six-yard box and fired a low shot into the back of the net to put the Whitecaps up 1-0 late.
With only a minute of extra time added, the Vikes were unable to respond, suffering a 1-0 defeat despite a strong defensive outing through the majority of the game.
“To be honest, we were very unlucky to get the draw,” said Wilson. “We battled so hard but at the end of the day we gave up one. It was a good game for us though, hopefully it helped the Whitecaps prepare for their season as well.”
The Vikes men’s and women’s teams will next hit the pitch in when they host the Keg Spring Cup, Mar. 22-23 at Centennial Stadium.
- VAN: Andre Lewis (90′)
- VIC: N/A
- VAN: 21
- VIC: 4
- VAN: None
- VIC: Andrew Ravenhill (25′)