By Jamie Umbach, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team proved too much on the night for the Mount Royal Cougars in the Canada West quarter-finals on Oct. 30. Four points from fifth-year captain Cam Hundal helped the Vikes to a 5-0 win at Centennial Stadium to punch the home side’s ticket to the Canada West Final Four.
Hundal notched two assists and two late goals in the win bringing his season total to 10 goals and seven assists. Second-year striker Michael Baart and Vikes newcomers Isaac Koch andKeevan Webb also got on the board. Senior keeper Noah Pawlowski picked up the shutout as the Vikes are now just one game away from qualifying for the CIS Championship.
The Cougars were plagued by fouls on the night, conceding 21 fouls in comparison to the Vikes’ ten. The Cougars mustered six shots to the Vikes’ 16, with Cougars goalkeeper Kamil Zielinski making six saves.
“I thought our passing was off in the first half, especially in the first twenty minutes,” said Vikes men’s soccer head coach Bruce Wilson of his team. “Up two goals at the break was great, but I still could’ve done more. We cleaned it up in the second half and hit the post once or twice, so it could’ve been even more.”
The Vikes scored the all-important first in the 11th minute of play. A short corner kick option from the Vikes was one-touched back to first-year Vike Koch. The rookie executed a flawless cross into the box for six-foot Webb to head past Zielinski. Webb’s third goal of the season was powered into the top corner of the net for a 1-0 Vikes lead.
It was a physical game with nine fouls being registered in the first 17 minutes of the game. The game’s first yellow card came minutes later when Mount Royal midfielder Jeff Blake took down a Vike near the edge of the Cougars’ box. As the Vikes continued to control possession the frustration from Mount Royal continued to mount and show itself.
The Vikes, known for their lethal speed all season, relied on just that in their second goal in the 40th minute. Midfielder Hundal, pressured by two Cougars defenders, curled the ball with the outside of the foot with perfect timing to a streaking Koch down the left-hand side of the field. Mount Royal goalkeeper Zielinski charged out to challenge Koch for the loose ball, but Koch’s timely, low touch beat Zielinski at the far post for a 2-0 Victoria lead.
The Vikes took their deserved 2-0 lead into the break, leading in shots 6-2. Pawlowski was called upon to make one save, while Zielinski absorbed two other attempts from the Vikes.
The Cougars struggled to generate offence for most of the game but got their best chance in the 57th minute when fourth year Cody Cook stretched out his foot on a loose ball in the box but couldn’t poke it past Pawlowski.
The Vikes continued to exploit Mount Royal down the left side. Koch once again found himself on a one-on-one from a pass by Hundal, but his shot struck the far post dead on to keep it 2-0.
Hundal got the Vikes on the board again in the 67th minute after he dragged two defenders toward the end line before centering a pass to the feet of team mate Baart for the 3-0 lead.
Hundal all but wrapped it up for the Vikes in the 85th and 87th minutes with goals from identical spots of the pitch. The 2011 CIS Championship MVP chipped it over Zielinski and just inside the far post on the rush before adding another near identical goal two minutes later.
“It’s a shame he doesn’t have a couple years left with us, because he and (Koch) would be a deadly force,” added Wilson.
A definitive performance from the Vikes, especially from their veteran Hundal, solidified the 5-0 win to advance the Vikes to the Canada West Final Four, hosted at UBC, Nov. 6-7. The Vikes will play at 5:00 p.m. against the winner of the Calgary and Trinity Western game, while the bronze and gold medal games will kick off at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, on Nov. 7.
1 2 F
UVIC: 2 3 5
MRU: 0 0 0
UVIC: Keevan Webb (11′), Isaac Koch (40′), Michael Baart (67′), Cam Hundal (85′, 87′)
MRU: Caden Sawatzky (Yellow card), Jeff Blake (Yellow card), Daylan Cato-Meyer (Yellow card)
UVIC: Cam Hundal
MRU: Cody Cook