Late goals dash Vikes playoff hopes in dramatic season finale

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LANGLEY, B.C.  The UVic Vikes men’s soccer team came up just short in their playoff push as the team dropped their final game of the season to Trinity Western Spartans on Oct. 21.

“We just made a few mistakes and they cost us,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson “I give our team full credit, they battled 100 per cent, it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get a draw at the end of the day.”

Trailing 2-1 midway through the second half, Graham Roxburgh scored twice in just over two minutes, in the 70th and 72nd minutes, to give the Spartans the lead. A Leighton Johnson goal in stoppage time sealed the victory for TWU, who finish second in the Pacific Division with an 8-4-4 record.

The loss ends the Vikes season, as the Vikes will miss the playoffs after posting a 6-8-1 regular season record. Victoria needed at least a draw in Saturday’s contest to advance to the postseason.

Victoria’s Michael Baart had put the Vikes ahead in the 63rd minute, when he converted a breakaway, taking advantage of a Spartans defensive miscue before beating TWU goalie Sebastian Colyn.

The Vikes Tarnvir Bhandal opened the scoring in the 21st minute before TWU’s Domenic Poletto evened the contest in the 49th minute.

Before Poletto’s equaliser, the Spartans hit two crossbars, with Johnson thumping one off the woodwork in the 26th minute and Joel Waterman hitting the bar in the 43rd minute.

TWU finished with a 24-4 edge in shots and an 8-2 advantage in shots on goal.

“We were not sharp at the beginning of the season but at the halfway point of the season we just started battling pretty much for pride,” said Wilson. “In the end I thought we played pretty well in the last few games.”

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