VICTORIA – Rain and strong winds couldn’t stop a great match from taking place at the University of Victoria on Saturday, as the UBC Thunderbirds and Victoria Vikes battled to a scoreless draw at UVic Field 2.
It was the second game in three days for the two teams, after UBC held off a Vikes comeback on Thursday to take a 3-2 victory in Vancouver. While the Thunderbirds, who are battling to keep their lead atop the Pacific Division, leave with four big points on the week, the Vikes showed some excellent resiliency in both games.
“UBC has lost a lot of players and they’re not the same team they were the last three or four years but having said that they have a very strong team,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson. “We battled away at UBC and we got a point here and so we’re happy with that.
“We’ve got four games left—two up in Prince George and two with TRU and UBCO and we’re hoping to put a few more wins together.”
Poor weather conditions forced the match off of the Centennial Stadium grass pitch and onto a turf field. It was a late change that looked like it might benefit the Thunderbirds—a turf team—over UVic.
But the Vikes, who entered last in the Pacific Division with a 3-8-0 record, didn’t look out of place against a tough opponent, accumulating their fair share of chances and getting some excellent play from goalkeeper Jasdeep Lally, playing in his first action of the season.
Lally finished with six saves and was named the Vikes MVP for the game.
“There’s one position we certainly aren’t struggling in and that would be goal,” said Wilson post-game. “We have Noah Pawlowski, we have Jasdeep—we also have Maxwell Branyik-Gil, who’s a redshirt. We are very strong in goal for the next six years. We’re lucky to have those three goalkeepers ready to go.”
On the other end of the pitch, UBC goalkeeper Chad Bush made three saves for the shutout. But the best defensive performance of the game for the Thunderbirds may have come from Bryan Fong, who was crucial in shutting down an active UVic audience all game.
The Thunderbirds are back in action next Friday and Saturday, when they host UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver. The Vikes will play a pair of games against UNBC in Prince George before welcoming Thompsons Rivers and UBCO on October 21 and 22.
SCORING 1 2 FINAL
Victoria (3-8-1) 0 0 0
UBC (7-1-6) 0 0 0
VIC: #29 Jasdeep Lally
UBC: #19 Bryan Fong
VIC: #15 Keegan Lang, USB – Reckless (51′)
UBC: #16 Zach Verhouen, USB – Reckless (45+)