By: James Nielsen, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – Victoria – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team did what they needed to do in their regular season finale, earning a 1-1 draw, Oct. 18 at Centennial Stadium to secure a home playoff date in next weekend’s Canada West quarter-final match against the Cascades.
For the home side, fourth-year forward Emma Greig tallied the lone goal at 29-minutes, while Meaghan Storie finished the regular season in net without allowing more than a goal-per-game.
The visiting Cascades saw Surrey native Danica Kump opening scoring in the match in the 23rd minute of play, while ‘keeper Kayla Klim was instrumental in keeping her squad in the game, making eight saves through the opening half alone.
The Vikes opened up the game with jump for the second-straight match and were unlucky to bury a goal early as an lob to Sarah Douglas in the opening minute was just received a touch late on what looked to be a tap-in effort. Maintaining pressure in the attacking zone, Jaclyn Sawicki’s blast from 25-yards rang off the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
Fraser Valley pushed back with possession in the Vikes defensive zone as the game hit the six-minute-mark, registering their first shot of the match before both teams settled to midfield for the better part of ten minutes.
A second great opportunity for the home side came off the foot of Carly Branion-Calles, who made good use of a Cascades defensive miscue, breaking up the right side of the field before sending a cross to a streaking Greig in the box. Greig’s redirect was just wide right of the net, keeping the game in a scoreless deadlock.
After sustaining a wealth of opportunities against them, the Cascades capitalized on a breakdown by the Vikes, with Kump receiving the ball just outside the box before moving in and firing a low blast past Storie on just their third shot of the match to take the early lead at 22 minutes.
The Vikes continued to mount attack after attack and with shots favouring Victoria 11-3, Greig finally broke through on the scoresheet 29 minutes in. Showing exceptional patience, the fourth-year striker received a through-ball before moving around her defender and burying a shot to level the game at 1-1.
Outshot 14-4, the visitors were perhaps lucky to escape the first half in a tie, as the Vikes held a majority of possession for the opening half.
Both squads exchanged prime opportunities to move ahead in the match early in the second half, with Vike Abigail Raymer nearly tapping in a cross from second-half substitute Caitlin Millham, while Kump was robbed from in close by Storie on what looked like a sure-goal at 56 minutes.
The Cascades would press in the latter stages of the second half, finishing the match trailing the home side 21-12 in shots, but would ultimately fail to spoil Senior Night as both teams settled for the 1-1 draw.
Aside from playoff implications, Saturday’s match was also significant as it represented a contingent of five Vikes playing in their final CIS regular season match. Branion-Calles, Sawicki, Mallory Hackett, Cassie Dennis and Maryse Reichgeld all donned the Vikes colours for the final time in regular season play.
As a result of the Vikes finishing in second-place, both teams will meet again at 5 p.m, Oct. 25 at Centennial Stadium as they look for a berth in the Canada West final four. The game will precede the Vikes men’s playoff game at 7:15 p.m. and both games will be broadcast live on Canadawest.tv. Playoff ticket prices will be in effect.