By Ali Lee,
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team have an important final home weekend of games, Oct. 17-18, against UBC and Fraser Valley. The Vikes are second in the Division with a 6-1-3 record, behind the CIS No. 2-ranked UBC Thunderbirds (9-1-0) and the unranked Fraser Valley Cascades (5-4-1). Both games will be hosted at Victoria’s Centennial Stadium.
There is a wide spread in the standings as UBC are out front with 27 points, while Victoria trail by six points (21) and Fraser Valley have 16. Regardless, results this weekend could drastically change up the quarter-final match ups as only the top two from the Pacific Division get hosting rights for the next round, while the third and fourth-placed teams travel to the Prairies. Saskatchewan lead the Prairie Division with a 9-0-1 record (28 points), while Alberta (6-3-3) and Calgary (7-3) are currently tied for second with 21 points.
The Vikes are coming off of a two-point weekend after tying Trinity Western 0-0 and Fraser Valley 1-1. Fifth-yearCameron Stokes was the lone goal scorer of the weekend, as the striker notched his seventh of the season.
Head coach Bruce Wilson will look to his mix of both veterans and talented rookies as the team enters the post-season. First-year forward Michael Baart has already impressed Wilson as the Victoria native has logged four goals and continues to showcase his offensive abilities.
Fourth-year midfielder Cam Hundal is still the Vikes’ key play maker as the former CIS championship MVP provides the speed and vision the team needs in the center of the pitch. Defender Alex Redpath has started all 10 games in the backfield and the fifth-year co-captain will be looking to close out his final season with an appearance at the CIS championship.
Vikes keeper Noah Pawlowski has also been a game-changer as the third-year transfer has logged four shutouts and has a 0.795 save percentage.
Wilson is known for carrying a deep bench, which will continue to feature the talents of Dominic Colantonio, Craig Gorman, Rhyse Harnden, Adam Ravenhill and Justin Donaldson-Andrade.
UBC, the defending CIS champions, have a potent senior class that includes the offensive threats of midfielder Navid Mashinchi, currently with eight goals and nine assists, as well as Niall Cousens, with six goals and three assists. UBC also entertain the talents of seniors Milad Mehrabi and Harry Lakhan, in midfield, and Paul Clerc in defence. In addition, senior keepers Luke O’Shea and Richard Meister give the T-Birds the depth they need in goal.
The Cascades have no shortage of senior talents as well with defender Colton O’Neill leading the way with five goals and three assists. Seniors Ryan Liddiard, Juan Pablo Mora Perea, Ravi Singh, as well as keeper Mark Village, will be key factors for the Cascades.
The Vikes will close out the Canada West regular season this weekend first against UBC on Friday, Oct. 17 and then against Fraser Valley on Saturday, Oct. 18. Both games will be at 7:15 p.m. at Centennial Stadium and will be broadcast with live video and stats at uvic.canadawest.tv.
Note: If the Vikes host a quarter-final playoff game it will take place on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 7:15 p.m. at Centennial Stadium. Play-off ticket prices will be in effect.