By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
KELOWNA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team made it four wins in a row on Sept. 27 to sweep their weekend away series with a commanding 5-1 victory over the UBC Okanagan Heat in Kelowna at Nonis Sports Field. The Vikes now move to 4-2-1 on the season after starting winless through their first three games and the Heat are now 1-4-3 after eight contests.
A most valuable player performance of one goal and two assists from fourth-year midfielder Mia Guntercomplimented an all around solid performance for the Vikes, with goals in consecutive games for first-year forward Kiara Kilbey and third-year midfielder Teresa Anania. Veteran fifth-year forward Emma Greig followed her strong two-point performance against the WolfPack Sept. 26 with a goal of her own while midfielder Sarah Douglas added to the offence.
The Vikes’ offence peppered the Heat goal with 20 shot attempts and 14 on goal against Heat goalkeeper Francesca Balletta. The Heat cut the Vikes’ lead to one in the first half thanks to a great link up between fourth-year midfielder Mairi Horth and defender Brittany Wheeler, but didn’t present much of a threat following the goal as they only mustered two shots against Vikes’ goalkeeper Meaghan Storie.
It took the Vikes only four minutes to get on the board and open the scoring. None other than Greig did the damage early for her third goal of the season and third point this weekend trip after two assists in yesterday afternoon’s match. Greig slipped the ball past the keeper and the Heat defender couldn’t prevent the ball from going over the line to open the scoring at 1-0 for the Vikes.
At the stroke of 20 minutes, Gunter got off the mark with her first of the season with a terrific shot over Balletta from the top left of the 18-yard-box to double the Vikes’ lead 2-0.
However, the Heat battled back through Horth in the 31st minute after she chipped Storie near the top left of the box to make it 2-1. The most impressive part could’ve been the assist from Wheeler, who fired a half-field cross to the opposite wing to find Horth on the other side and help put the Heat back in the game.
Kilbey stretched her goalscoring streak to four games with her fourth of the season in the 36th minute, restoring the Vikes’ lead to 3-1. Gunter lobbed a through ball to the chasing Kilbey, who put it far post past Balletta to restore the two-goal lead for the Vikes.
Five minutes before half time, Douglas was not to be outdone by her counterpart Gunter with a stunning strike off the far post and in past Balletta to put the Vikes up comfortably 4-1.
Anania would wrap up the scoring and the match for the Vikes just two minutes after the restart of the second half. Gunter sent a low cross to the streaking Anania from the left wing before Anania put it over Belletta for the 5-1 lead. Balletta did well to get a hand on the ball, but couldn’t stop it from rolling into the net for Anania’s fourth goal in as many games.
The Vikes’ offence has been generating massive numbers to help out their defensive department after only scoring one goal through their first three games of the season. Over their past four games in which the Vikes have gone 4-0-0, the Vikes have scored 17 goals and conceded only two.
That recent goalscoring prowess for the Vikes will be put to the test next weekend when the 5-1 Saskatchewan Huskies come to Centennial Stadium for a match-up with the Vikes on Oct. 2 at 5:00 p.m. Their provincial counterparts the Regina Cougars, who sit at 1-3-2 will follow suit on Oct. 3 to wrap up the home series for the Vikes.