By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C.– The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team will look to find the win column this weekend, Sept. 11-12, at Centennial Stadium against a young UNBC Timberwolves side. After a season-opening 1-1 draw in Vancouver against rivals the UBC Thunderbirds, the Vikes will look to bounce back with a home-opening double header.
Since UNBC entered Canada West play in 2012 the Vikes have dominated the series between the two, winning all six of the past meetings and out-scoring the Timberwolves 21-5 in the process.
Current Vikes fifth-year forward and co-captain Cam Hundal tallied three goals and an assist throughout the three-year Vikes win streak over the Timberwolves.
The Vikes enter their Sept. 11 clash already having a Canada West regular season game under their belts while the weekend will be UNBC’s first test of the 2015 season. The Timberwolves are looking to improve on a 3-9 record from the 2014-15 season where they placed sixth in the Canada West and did not qualify for playoffs.
Third-year midfielder and captain Tofa Fakunle is expected to carry extra weight from graduating midfielder Logan Phenuff and defender Harjas Grewal. Both were fourth-year veterans of UNBC.
Current UNBC men’s soccer interim head coach Steve Simonson is no stranger to Victoria after having coached the Victoria Highlanders of the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League from 2012-14. He was involved with the team since its inception in 2007 before moving to Prince George, B.C. this past August.
A capacity crowd is expected at Centennial Stadium this weekend as students stream back to the University of Victoria for the beginning of the semester and the celebration of Thunderfest. The afternoon event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Student Union Building and continues through to the men’s soccer kick-off at 7:15 p.m.
Fresh off being awarded this week’s Canada West’s First and Third Stars of the Week, Vikes midfielders Craig Gorman and Sam Prette are likely to carry that momentum into this weekend’s matches after strong performances in week one of the season.
Gorman found the back of the net for the Vikes in the 12th minute of their Sept. 5 match up against the T-Birds, burying the team’s first goal this season from the top of the 18-yard-box after a pass from fellow Canada West Star of the Week Prette after falling behind 1-0 only 41 seconds earlier.
Prette fired three shots towards the Thunderbirds, with one on net, to go along with his assist on Gorman’s tally in the 1-1 draw.
The draw pushed the Vikes 2015-16 undefeated streak to six games including preseason.