Young Vikes get opportune test in upcoming Florida tour

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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team are heading south for exhibition games and training in Florida, Feb. 3-14. The traveling team, however, will be without several familiar and senior names as Vikes women’s soccer head coach Tracy David anticipates a great opportunity for the younger players on the team to prove themselves.

“This trip will be about giving experience and playing time to some of our first players who maybe didn’t play as much during the season,” said David, who will travel without veterans Carlita Branion-Calles, Mallory Hackett, Cassie Dennis and Maryse Reichgeld. “This is (the first year players’) opportunity to shine and this is really the time where we start preparing and evaluating for next fall.”

The Vikes women will waste no time, as they will face their toughest of the three teams first on Feb. 6. This fall the University of Central Florida Knights were 8-1 in their conference record and boast Olympic gold medalist Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak as their head coach for her second season.

“UCF will be a huge, huge test of our resilience,” said David about meeting the Knights who had an 18-game unbeaten streak in the 2013 season.

The Vikes will also face Florida Atlantic on Feb. 8 and Florida Gulf Coast on Feb. 12.

The Vikes women have been heading to Florida for the annual tour for nearly a decade with the exception of 2013 when they did a tour in England. Though short most of their veterans the Vikes will boast former CIS All-Canadian and Junior national team member Jaclyn Sawicki as well as 2014 CIS All-Canadian Emma Greig. Net-minding duties will be shared between third-year Meaghan Storie and second year Austin Studer, while the steady play of defenders Lindsay Machin and Elise Butler will largely be called upon.

The Vikes women leave on Feb. 3 and have their first game on Feb. 6 against UCF. The team will return on Feb. 14 and will continue preparations for their annual Keg Spring Cup, hosted at Centennial Stadium in March. The Keg Cup will feature UBC, Trinity Western, Alberta and UVic.

Vikes Women’s Soccer Exhibition Schedule
Feb. 6: Vikes @ University of Central Florida (4 pm ET, Orlando, Fl.)
Feb. 8: Vikes @ Florida Atlantic University (6pm ET, Boca Raton, Fl.)
Feb. 12: Vikes @ Florida Gulf Coast University (10am ET, Fort Myers, Fl.)