By: James Nielsen, Vikes Communications
(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – Facing a quick turnaround following their Florida exhibition tour, the University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team kicked off against the MLS side Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Feb. 15 at UVic’s Centennial Stadium. The Vikes gave up a 6-0 decision to the MLS pros in front of over 2,500 fans in Centennial Stadium.
Vancouver’s offence was on in a dominant display through ninety minutes of play, with Pedro Morales, Russell Teibert, Marco Bustos, Octavio Rivero, Steven Beitashour and Kianz Froese all finding the back of the net. In goal, Paolo Tornaghi was perfect on all ten shots he faced, earning the clean sheet for his squad.
Victoria was unable to find of the back of the net despite a few promising looks, receiving quality opportunities from Cam Hundal, Cameron Stokes and Dominic Colantonio. Between the pipes, 2014 CIS First Team All-Canadian Noah Pawlowski made some point-blank saves, including a highlight bicycle kick from inside the box, but was beat by quality offensive striking from the ‘Caps.
Whitecaps FC jumped out to an early lead off a sharp-angled free kick from Morales. It was the first shot of day and it seemed to catch ‘keeper Pawlowski off-guard, curling in from outside the 18-yard-box and just under the bar.
Before the Vikes could catch their breath, the visiting squad doubled their lead after an ill-advised header from a Victoria defender landed fortuitously at the foot of midfielder Teibert. With room, the Niagra Falls native moved in from just outside the six-yard-box before calmly slotting home his side’s second goal of the game.
Vancouver continued to apply pressure and increased their lead in the 19th minute after Bustos finished off a beautiful flick from teammate Riverio for the 3-0 lead.
In the 22nd minute, Pawlowski’s save on Morales sparked a Victoria attack with Hundal breaking in from outside the box and forcing a corner. The ensuing corner-kick from 2014 Vikes leading scorer Stokes curled in just high over the bar, denying the Vikes an opening goal in the 26th minute.
Stokes received a second opportunity to put his squad on the scoreboard in the 34th minute but his hard strike towards keeper Tornaghi deflected out of harms way.
Down 4-0, a promising-looking burst into the attacking zone by Hundal late in the half generated a free kick for the Vikes just outside the box. A left-footed strike from fourth-year Vike Craig Gorman sailed high over the bar.
The Vikes trailed by four entering half time.
Coming off the bench, Vike Dominic Colantonio made his presence felt immediately in the opening of the second half, moving into the attacking zone and firing a strike just wide less than a minute in.
Unfortunately for the home crowd, it was Vancouver who found the back of the net again, with Rodriguez finishing off a cross into the box in the 53rd minute of play.
Pawlowski made a highlight-reel save in the 65th minute on Vancouver’s Robert Ernshaw, who drew one of the largest applauses of the afternoon, as the midfielder’s bicycle-kick blast on net was denied from close range.
Still in search of an opening goal, Hundal’s rush on 72 minutes nearly broke the scoreless drought for Victoria, but a cross to rookie striker Michael Baart was a touch off-pace, producing instead what would be an unsuccessful corner.
Incredible defensive efforts from fifth-year Vikes captain Alex Redpath and line mates Aaron Murphyand Andrew Ravenhill gave Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson reassurance. Redpath was fearless blocking several Whitecaps attempts in and around the box.
The Whitecaps added an additional goal in the 77th minute of play en route to a 6-0 victory in the fourth-straight and 10th overall friendly between the two sides.
The Vikes close out their 2014-15 campaign at the annual Keg Cup Spring tournament, taking place Mar. 21-22 at Centennial Stadium.
VANCOUVER: 4-2: 6
VICTORIA: 0-0: 0
VANCOUVER: Morales (4′), Teibert (7′), Bustos (19′), Rivero (22′), Beitashour (53′), Froese (77′)