Sept 7,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team got too comfortable too quick as the Trinity Western Spartans made a late come-back after an early Vikes lead. The Vikes came away with the 3-2 victory to improve 1-1-0 in the Canada West, while the Spartans conceded their first loss to now also sit 1-1-0.
The Vikes had a two-goal game from first year Michael Baart, who tallied both on Dominic Colantonio assists. Cameron Stokes scored the game winner, while Noah Pawlowskimade three saves in the game.
“It was my first start (for the Vikes) and I was really excited and nervous at the same time,” said the two-goal rookie Baart. “Two goals tonight and now I just want to keep on going for more.”
For the Spartans, Matthew Roxburgh and Elijah Adekugbe scored six minutes apart to give Trinity Western some late hope. Third-year Surrey native Andrew Hicks was outstanding in net totaling nine saves in the game.
The opening half saw the teams trading opportunities as Spartans striker Jarvis Ambaka got up on a header that went just wide in the fifth minute of play. Soon after third-year Vike Sam Prette had a header of his own that went high after the six-foot-one striker connected on a Colantonio cross.
The Spartans were close to drawing first blood when first-year striker Eric Dove’s close range shot was just saved by Vikes keeper Pawlowski’s out-stretched toe in the 14thminute. Pawlowski continued to show his experience as minutes later he came way off his line to tackle Dove on edge of the box.
At the 21-minute mark, the Vikes had one of their best chances as Sam Prette fed a lead pass for Baart. Baart had beat Spartans keeper Hicks on the ground but the ball ricocheted off the post to keep the game scoreless.
Trinity Western’s Ambaka, Dove and Kalem Scott seemed to be the lone trio causing offensive havoc for the Vikes back line. Pawlowski and Vikes defenders Rhyse Harnden,Spencer MacKinnon and Alex Redpath did well to neutralize and manage the Spartans’ speed and physicality.
In the 29th Baart lifted the Vikes with his first career goal, finishing a shot on the ground after a nice pass through from third-year midfielder Colantonio. The Vikes followed up with multiple chances to force five first-half saves out of Hicks.
Baart earned his second of the match in the 39th minute after he connected in traffic on a free kick taken by Colantonio. The Baart-Colantonio duo, each with a point now, helped the Vikes lead 2-0 entering the break.
Following , five sets of fresh legs entered the pitch for the Vikes including last night’s starters Cam Hundal, Craig Gorman, Justin Donaldson, Tarnvir Bhandal and Stokes. Stokes buried a pass from Bhandal in the 50th minute to lift the Vikes by three in what seemed like the start of a runaway game.
Credit to Spartans keeper Hicks who held the Vikes at bay just long enough for his squad to bury two goals off originally set pieces. In the 62nd minute rookie Roxburgh was hauled down on the outside flanks and the resulting free kick allowed the five-foot-eleven midfielder to then put in a rebound to eliminate any chance of a Vikes shutout.
Just six minutes following and Trinity Western caught the Vikes on their heels again as a long-range free kick hit traffic and beat Pawlowski. Adekugbe was the last Spartan to get a touch as the visitors seemed to find their strides only trailing by one.
Gorman generated plenty of left-side attack but Spartans veteran Mitchell Rohla matched him stride for stride, eliminating any opportunity for the fourth-year to get on the board.
In the late minutes Hundal and Donaldson were sprung on a two-on-one from the half-way line. The pair traded passes all the way into the box but the final finish by Hundal was deemed offside.
The Spartans continued to push but were unable to find a tying goal, allowing the Vikes to squeak away with a 3-2 victory to improve to a 1-1-0 record, while the Spartans concede their first loss to drop to 1-1-0.
“We are happy to take the three points considering we didn’t finish on so many chances,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson in his 27th season. “We switched six players at half to bring some fresh legs, which seemed to work well but fair dues to (Trinity Western). They put the pressure on us and made life difficult.”
Up next the Spartans will visit Thompson Rivers and UBC Okanagan on Sept. 12 and 13, respectively. The Vikes will visit the same teams the following weekend playing the Heat on Sept. 19 and the WolfPack on Sept. 20. All games will be available live on http://canadawest.tv.
TWU: 0 – 2 : 2
UVIC: 2 – 1 : 3
TWU: Matthew Roxburgh (62′), Elijah Adekugbe (68′)
UVIC: Michael Baart (27′, 37′), Cameron Stokes (50′)