By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team overcame the Saskatchewan Huskies 2-0 at Centennial Stadium on Oct. 2, weathering a first half flurry of chances from the Huskies before stealing the game away with two goals in ten minutes in the second half. The win stretches the Vikes’ winning streak to five games and their overall record to 5-2-1 while the Huskies drop to 5-2 on the season and have their three-game win streak snapped.
After failing to register a shot on net in the first half, the Vikes stormed back offensively in the second half with two goals in ten minutes from third-year midfielder Stephanie Badilla-Gutierrez and second-year midfielder Emily Lieuwen in the 56th and 65th minutes, respectively. Vikes goalkeeper Meaghan Storie kept the Vikes in the game all night, stopping all seven of the Huskies’ shots on target to register her fourth clean sheet of the season.
The Huskies peppered the Vikes net in the first half, but couldn’t carry the momentum back into the second half after the Vikes pushed the Huskies defensive line right from the restart. Huskies goalkeeper Kyleigh Vause didn’t see much action in the first half, but she and he teammates soon found themselves on the opposite side of a 2-0 scoreline with 25 minutes left to play. Vause pushed away one of the Vikes’ three shots on target on the night.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said Vikes women’s soccer head coach Tracy David. “In the second half we pressed the ball better, quicker, and dealt with the extra body they had in the centre of the park. We were able to generate chances and were a bit more patient on our attack, so we weren’t launching balls from bad angles, poor positions and chasing balls we had no chance of getting. It was a good performance.”
The first real chance of the game came in the 9th minute from Huskies midfielder Kelly Cerkwoniak, who tried from distance only to have her effort parried away nicely by Storie.
Storie was called on again in the 15th minute on a dangerous free-kick from Cerkwoniak. After a Vikes handball, Cerkwoniak’s attempt from distance was labeled for the top right corner, but Storie did well to stretch out and push the ball over the bar.
Throughout the first half, the Huskies proved the most threatening in attack while also showing resilience on the back end by closing down the Vikes forwards. The Vikes weren’t posing any real attacking threat towards Huskies’ goalkeeper Vause.
The best chance of the half came in the dying seconds of the first half off a Huskies corner. Fourth-year midfielder Erica Hindmarsh swung her cross in before the ball fell to forward Leesa Eggum, who beat Storie through the legs but the ball was cleared off the line by the Vikes defensive line.
It would be the last action of the half, as both teams entered the half time break at 0-0 with the Vikes failing to register a shot on net against Vause. The Huskies directed six shots towards the Vikes net in the first half, but Storie was up to the test.
The Vikes started the second half off with on the offensive threat with a three-on-two chance in the 47th minute. Fifth-year Emma Greig received the ball in the box and left it off to the wide open second-half substitute Shannon Elder. Elder took her first shot that was stopped well by Vause, and her rebound shot hit the side of the net.
The offensive pressure from the Vikes to begin the second half would be rewarded in the 56thminute. The Vikes took the lead after Greig was slipped in alone and worked her way to the bottom of the box before firing a perfect cross to the rushing Gutierrez. A thumping volley would follow from Gutierrez into the top corner to open the scoring at 1-0 for the Vikes.
Minutes later, the Vikes doubled their lead. A long free-kick from just inside the Huskies half was sent in by Douglas to the middle of the box. Emily Lieuwen met the cross perfectly and directed the ball off the post and in to give the Vikes some breathing room at 2-0.
It would be all the insurance the Vikes needed on the night, wrapping up the first of a two-game home stand against prairie sides 2-0. After a slow start to the season of 0-2-1, the Vikes have now rallied for five straight wins and sit third in Canada West West Division standings. The Vikes have scored 19 goals in their past five games after only scoring one in their first three games of the season.
“We have to keep ticking along,” said David. ” We take it one game at a time and now we have to prepare with a lot of tired bodies from a full ninety minutes. We’ll see what we’re made of tomorrow.”
The Vikes return to action at Centennial Stadium tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. against the Regina Cougars while the Huskies return to the mainland for a clash with the UBC Thunderbirds. All of those matches can be streamed live on canadawest.tv.
SASK: 0 – 0 : 0
UVIC: 0 – 2 : 2
UVIC: Stephanie Badilla-Gutierrez (56′), Emily Lieuwen (65′)
SASK: Jennifer Miller
UVIC: Emily Lieuwen