Vikes midfield fuels dominating performance over Timberwolves

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By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications

 

VICTORIA, B.C. – A four-goal first half from the University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team provided more than enough support on the night as the Vikes dominated the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves 6-0 on Friday, Sept. 18.

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The win gives the Vikes their first win of the season and some much needed offence after scoring only one goal through their first three games of the season. The win moves the Vikes to 1-2-1 in Canada West action ahead of tomorrow’s clash with the University of Alberta Pandas on Saturday, Sept. 19.

The Vikes earned themselves the early lead in the second minute when fourth-year forward Sarah Douglas made a great move to fake her defender out near the Timberwolves’ goal line. The move allowed Douglas to fire a perfect cross to the foot of third-year midfielder Stephanie Badilla Gutierrez, who calmly put it over Timberwolves’ goalkeeper Jordan Hall to give the Vikes the 1-0 lead.

The early pressure didn’t stop there for the Vikes, who doubled their lead in the ninth minute off the foot of midfielder Emily Lieuwen. Fourth-year defender Samantha Lee headed the ball down from the edge of the 18-yard box before Lieuwen finished off the chance into the top left corner for the 2-0 lead.

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Timberwolves’ third-year midfielder Tianna Rossi was on target for their only shot of the first half in the 16th minute, but Vikes’ goalkeeper Meaghan Storie stopped Rossi’s line drive comfortably in her only action of the first half.

In the 20th minute, the Vikes put the game out reach early. Midfielder Caitlin Milham took the pass from fifth-year forward Emma Greig in the box before beating Hall on the left side to triple the Vikes lead 3-0.

The assist would be Greig’s last action of the game as the Vikes would prepare to hold the lead by making a fifth-year swap to bring on midfielder Megan Elder for Greig in the 23rdminute.

Vikes forward Kiara Kilbey would finish off a torrent first half for the Vikes, making it 4-0 in the 43rd minute. Elder made the best of her first-half substitution by feeding Kilbey in the middle of the 18-yard box before she calmly put it past the Timberwolves.

The Vikes would lead in score and shots at the end of the first half 4-0 and 14-1.

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It was a tough task for the Timberwolves’ defensive line of Rhianne Fernandini, Kylie Erb, Fiona Raymond and fifth-year Tanya Grob in the first half with the task of defending the strong offensive push from the Vikes. The Vikes’ forwards occupied the Timberwolves’ defenders to allow more time for the Vikes’ midfield, who converted three of the four goals for Victoria tonight in the first half.

Before the game, Vikes women’s soccer head coach Tracy David called for more support from her midfield for the forwards up front, including the likes of Emma Greig.

“She definitely got support in the goal scoring category,” said David. “Our midfield linked up strongly with the strikers today and I thought we were running off the ball particularly well in the first half.”

The second half would begin with wholesale changes to the Vikes’ lineup for a total of six substitutions, allowing for some of the bench players to see some action.

The Vikes would pick up where they left off in the second half, increasing the lead to 5-0 in the 51st minute after Anania finished off a good passing play with Gutierrez. Just four minutes later, Anania would pick up her second of the game to make it six on the night for the Vikes.

Second half Vikes’ goalkeeper substitute Puck Louwes was called to action on a Timberwolves’ corner in the 70th minute, but calmly collected the corner in her first action of the second half.

The Vikes would cruise to a comfortable 6-0 win, outshooting the Timberwolves 22-5 on the night. Five different players would make the scoresheet for the Vikes, including five goals from midfielders.

“I think we had it in our mindset that we wanted to dominate and I think we did a pretty good job,” said David. “They’re a young side and haven’t been in the league long, so it’s going to take them some time to get up to speed.”

Despite the loss, the Timberwolves played with heart, most noticeably through the experienced fifth year forward Sydney Hall.

“She’s a great player,” said David. “She started running at us in the second half and caused some problems.”

Tonight’s offensive outburst comes at an important time for the Vikes after only scoring one goal through their first three games. That sense of confidence will play a key role as they prepare for tomorrow’s clash with the Alberta Pandas.

“It will give us some confidence,” said David. “We needed a little bit of that because we know tomorrow will be a tougher test. We’re going to have to keep things simple and do those things really well.”

Tomorrow’s match, Sept. 19, against the Alberta Pandas goes from 5:00 p.m. at Centennial Stadium.

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