VICTORIA—Noah Pawlowski performed heroics in the Vikes net, and the team battled right up until the final whistle, but in the end the Vikes fell 2-1 to the Trinity Western Spartans September 10, at Centennial Stadium.
“Noah played excellent tonight. The first half in particular we did not show up and to be honest, without him in there we would have been down three goals at half time,” said Vikes head coachBruce Wilson.
The Spartans came out dominant, looking every bit as strong as their number eight ranking in the nation suggested they would. They were able to control the game by pressing high up the field and maintaining possession of the ball.
It didn’t take the Spartans long to turn that pressure into a goal.
Six minutes into the game Elijah Adekugbe beat his defender and played a dangerous ball into the box that Taylor Johnson of the Spartans was easily able to direct into the net.
For the next 20 minutes the game turned into the Pawlowski show. The fifth-year goalkeeper for the Vikes turned himself into a brick wall, stopping everything that came near his net and compiling 13 saves in the game.
The hard work of Pawlowski and his defence paid off when the Vikes were able to find a way to tie up the game in the 26th minute.
A rare foray forward for the Vikes resulted in a free kick from a dangerous position. Paulo Daitdelivered a perfect ball into the box and a Spartans defender was forced to pull down his man, resulting in a penalty kick for the Vikes.
It was Dait that stepped up to the spot to take the kick. His shot to the left was well saved by Andrew Hicks in net for the Spartans. Fortunately for the Vikes the rebound fell right to Dait and he was able to score on the second try, levelling the game at 1-1.
The second half saw a complete turn around from the Vikes. They began to see more of the ball and their defence stepped up to prevent the onslaught on the net of Pawlowski.
“Second half I thought we played quite well, it was fairly equal to be honest. With a little bit of luck we could have scored the second goal,” said David.
The Vikes best scoring chance of the half came when Michael Baart and Xavier Araujo worked a counter-attack perfectly in the 65th minute and only a desperation save from Hicks stopped the Vikes from taking the lead.
Unfortunately for the Vikes, Pawlowski wasn’t able to stop everything.
In the 76th minute the Spartans earned themselves a corner kick that they worked short to Elijah Adekugbe. Adekugbe swung the ball into the box and fourth-year midefielder Elie Gindo headed the ball into the net to give the Spartans the lead.
The Vikes continued to battle throughout the last ten minutes, nearly equalizing off of a corner kick of their own in the last minute of play.
With the loss the Vikes won one game and lost one game during the first two matches of their current four game home stand.
“We are happy to get a win yesterday, we would have liked to sneak a win here today. We didn’t deserve anything in the first half, but we played well in the second,” said Wilson.
SCORING 1 2 FINAL
Victoria (1-3-0) 1 0 1
Trinity Western (5-1-0) 1 1 2
UVIC: Noah Pawlowski
Mount Royal: Elie Gindo