No. 6 Vikes women slide past UBC Okanagan

soccer v

Sept 20,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team had a slow start to their return to the Canada West following last weekend’s bye. A single second-half goal lifted the Vikes 1-0 over UBC Okanagan at Nonis Sports Field in Kelowna, B.C. The Vikes remain undefeated with a 2-0-1 record, while the Heat are now 0-3-2.

It took nearly 52 minutes before the Vikes finally got on the board after Carly Branion-Calles put in a first-time shot in the bottom corner of the net. Play was back-and-forth but rookie Meaghan Storie managed to earn her first shutout in goal for the Vikes, making nine saves in the game.

The Vikes were the second-straight CIS Top 10 team the Heat have played, following the No. 2 Trinity Western Spartans last week. UBC Okanagan keeper Claire Paterson put up seven saves in the game, while the Vikes struggled getting only eight of their 17 shots on target. Regardless, Mairi Horth helped keep the Heat in the game and was named the team’s MVP.

“We definitely weren’t firing on all cylinders tonight,” said Tracy David, Vikes women’s soccer head coach. “(UBC Okanagan) pressed us a lot and it was really hard to get in behind them. They picked off all the little passes and were dangerous on the counter attack.”

The Vikes controlled possession of the ball for most of the match, though the Heat did stake claim to better chances at goal in the first half. Both teams traded opportunities, as the Heat continued to play well on the counter, while the Vikes struggled to get used to the bounce on the turf field.

The Vikes had 15 shots, five on target, before they were finally able to capitalize. Sarah Douglas used her speed to burn down the left side and her low cross in the box seemed intended for the feet of fellow striker Emma Greig. Greig failed to connect but it was to the good fortunes of the unmarked Branion-Calles who put it away low and hard on her first touch.

“The goal came at a good time for us,” added David. “Their goalkeeper did make some saves but ultimately we didn’t shoot enough of our chances on target. We did make some changes and got to see some first year players like Olivia Swinton get on the pitch.”

With Swinton subbing on at half time, Branion-Calles was free to move up to the midfield, where she went on to score the Vikes’ lone goal.

The 1-0 lead continued right through to the final whistle.

Fifth-year veteran Jaclyn Sawicki largely controlled the offensive tempo for the Vikes, testing the back line of the Heat on multiple occasions with deft and skilled footwork in the middle, creating opportunities for teammates at the net. Midfielder Cassie Dennis was the UVic player of the match for her also outstanding play over 90 minutes.

The Vikes will have a quick road trip and turn around as they will visit Thompson Rivers tomorrow, Sept. 20, at 12:30 p.m. in Kamloops, B.C.

Then the Vikes are on back-to-back road trip duty as next weekend, Sept. 27-28, they will head north to play two games against the UNBC Timberwolves in Prince George, B.C. Both games will take place at 12 p.m. and will be on canadawest.TV with live video and stats.

UBCO: 0 – 0 : 0
UVIC: 0 – 1 : 0

UVIC: Carly Branion-Calles (52′)

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