VICTORIA- The University of Victoria Vikes came out on top by final score of 33-21 in what was a tight match against the Alberta Pandas on Oct.14 at Wallace Field.
The Vikes improve their record to 3-2 and Alberta falls to 2-4 at the conclusion of the regular season.
The Vikes enjoyed watching five different players cross the goal line in their victory over the Pandas. Gurp Dhaliwal, Renee Gonzalez, Chanelle Edwards-Challenger, Jordyn Myers and Maddy Aberg all scored in the match. Along with her try, Aberg also was successful on four of her five conversion attempts.
“We played for each other today and I didn’t see any individual play from our team,” said Vikes head coach Brittany Waters. ” It is always a great thing to see when you have multiple players scoring instead of all our points coming from one source.”
Despite the loss, Alberta kept themselves in the game by forcing the Vikes into making errors in and around the rucks. The Pandas used those penalties to their advantage to gain valuable field position but often came up short before getting over the line for a score.
“The small details held us back today,” said Pandas head coach Matt Parrish. “With the conference being so tight this year, I have told our team we need to be able to finish and capitalize on our scoring opportunities.”
The Vikes got on the board early, scoring just five minutes into the match. Victoria marched down the field keeping the ball tight to the rucks and stayed patient, progressing a few metres at a time. Gonzalez scored first to put the Vikes up 7-0 with Aberg’s convert.
Alberta answered back quickly by scoring just four minutes later. Number-8 Courtney Holtkamp broke the Vikes line and set up Alix Evans for the first Panda score to tie the game up at 7-7.
Edwards-Challenger plunged over the goal line in the 19thminute to restore the Vikes seven point lead.
On the final play of the first half, Aberg broke the line and made a nice move to beat the final two Alberta defenders to give her Vikes squad the 21-7 lead at the break.
Panda’s winger Emily Brown put her strong running ability on display to set up Aly Anderson in 43rdminute for Alberta’s second try of the match to narrow the Vikes lead to 21-14.
Two Vikes tries coming in the 51stand 62ndminute gave Victoria at 33-14 lead. Following those two tries, the Vikes took back-to-back penalties to give Alberta the ball deep in Victoria territory but a knock on in the far corner put the ball right back into the hands of the Vikes. The Pandas would manage to score once more to bring the score to 33-21 before the clock ran out.
This was the final game of the regular season for both teams, the Pandas and the Vikes have both clinched playoff spots. Alberta will host the Canada West playoffs next weekend with semi-final games beginning on Friday Oct. 19 in Edmonton.
VIC 21-12 33
ALB 7-14 21
5′ – VIC TRY – Renee Gonzalez (Convert-Maddy Aberg) – VIC 7-0
9′ – ALB TRY – Alix Evans (Convert-Ali Wicklum) – TIED 7-7
19′ – VIC TRY – Chanelle Edwards-Challenger (Convert-Maddy Aberg) – VIC 14-7
40′ – VIC TRY – Maddy Aberg (Convert-Maddy Aberg) – VIC 21-7
43′ – ALB TRY – Aly Anderson (Convert Ali Wicklum) – VIC 21-14
51′ – VIC TRY – Gurp Dhaliwal (Convert missed) – VIC 26-14
62′ – VIC TRY – Jordyn Myers (Convert-Maddy Aberg) – VIC 33-14
73′ – ALB TRY – Jayne Isherwood (Convert-Ali Wicklum) – VIC 33-21