VICTORIA – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team dropped the visiting Thompson Rivers Wolfpack, 3-0, at Centennial Stadium on Sept. 21. Despite the score line the game was scoreless for 56 minutes thanks to the efforts of first year WolfPack keeper Marissa Young. The Vikes improve their record to 3-3-0, while the WolfPack fall to 1-4-0.
The Vikes earned second-half goals from Kiara Kilbey, Caitlin Millham and Emma Skalik as the home side out-shot the WolfPack 23-7. Victoria keeper Puck Louwes had a quiet night facing only four shots but all were quality attempts.
“I think it’s all about confidence around the goal and we just have to believe that we can put it in the back of the goal,” said Vikes head coach Tracy David about her team struggling to score in the first half. “We are creating chances and the more chances we create the more opportunities we have to put it in the back of the net.”
For the WolfPack, Young was the story of the game as the first year made nine quality saves in her first starting appearance.
The opening half was a shooting frenzy for the home side but despite their efforts the game remained scoreless for the opening half thanks to first-year Thompson Rivers keeper Young. The Calgary native racked up six saves as the Vikes out-shot the WolfPack 14-2 but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Fourth-year Victoria striker Kilbey had a dream number of chances including back-to-back shots in the 12th and 13th minute. In the 23rd minute Victoria forward Georgia Bignold ran the right sideline at pace and was able to find Kilbey between a trio of defenders. Kilbey’s close-range shot was pounced on by Young.
The best chance for the Vikes came in the 28th minute when midfielder Rachel Baird had a strong challenge in the middle of the park and threaded the needle to send Kilbey on a breakaway. Young did well to close the space near the top of the 18-yard-box and Kilbey’s shot ricocheted off Young’s shoulder and stayed out.
The WolfPack’s best and only chance at goal in the opening frame came in the 30th minute when rookie striker Chantal Gammie ran half the length of the pitch and out-worked the Vikes defence to get a dig at goal. Vikes netminder Puck Louwes was there to make the stop.
Victoria continued to hem Thompson Rivers in their end as Aishy Shinomura and Kyra Teetzen both had quality opportunities late in the half. The Thompson Rivers defensive quartet of Natalie Verdiel, Cassie Morris, Julia Burkart and Kelsey Thorkelsson did well to stymie the waves of Victoria pressure.
It took 13 corner kick for the Vikes to finally find the back of the net. Shinomura’s curling ball was headed on by Katie Carrothers and Kilbey was able to bring the ball down and release a shot into the top of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute.
“She felt she was a bit snake-bitten there and at half time we just told her to keep going at it and it’s going to come,” added David about Kilbey’s six shots and one goal in the game. “I’m really pleased she was able to score and put it away and after the goals she had a few other chances and she set up people to score so that was a bit of pressure off of her shoulders.”
The Vikes doubled their lead in the 61st when Kilbey’s cross found Georgia Bignold at the far post but Bignold’s shot was directed back across goal where Millham was there to beat Young for a 2-0 Vikes lead.
Fresh legs helped the Vikes continue their offensive power as Skalik’s first touch on the ball was a one-time at the top of the box that propelled Victoria to a 3-0 lead and final score.