VICTORIA- Both the men and women’s University of Vikes soccer teams will play in the finals of the 33rd Annual Keg Spring Cup on Mar. 24 at Centennial Stadium. Head Coaches Bruce Wilson adn Tracy David‘s sides each booked their tickets after thrilling semifinal victories on Day 1 of the tournament.
The women’s side went the distance in their match against the Alberta Pandas and the game was eventually decided with kicks. The Vikes defeated the Pandas 4-3 in the penalty round to advance to Sunday’s final against the UBC Thunderbirds.
The men conceded a goal in the second half to the Fraser Valley Cascades but a last minute goal proved to be enough to also push them through to Sunday’s final against UBC.
Game 1 (Women): UBC 3, Trinity Western 2
Shots: UBC (14) TWU (10)
In a game riddled with set pieces, one of which was scored on, it took a 25-yard kick in open play to seal it for the UBC Thunderbirds as they defeated the Trinity Western Spartans 3-2 to advance to the Keg Spring Cup on Sunday. The game stayed close early on as both teams tried to find their legs. The Spartans looked threatening from set pieces as UBC defenders were unable to match them in the air. An early free kick from Trinity Western was inches away from being tapped in, which seemed to be theme of the morning for the Trinity side. In the 11thminute a well-struck corner was headed into the net by the Spartans Elizabeth Hicks to make the score 1-0 for Trinity Western. Minutes later UBC was up to the task as another Spartan set piece seemed goal bound but a desperate goal line clearance kept them in the game. Following the momentum from a great defensive play, UBC tore down the field and Rachel Kordysz slotted one at the other end to tie the game. Both teams were relatively equal in open play during the half but a 45thminute goal from the T-Birds Amelia Crawford who streaked down the wing and a calmly finished to put UBC up at half time.
UBC dominated the opening parts of the second half, having several good crosses but unable to convert. The Spartans late push translated into a goal to bring the game within one when a slipped ball in to Katheryn Harvey was placed into the far post on a breakaway in the 76thminute. UBC held on to the lead until the final whistle. Praised for their hard work and determination by coach, Graham Roxburgh, a young Spartans squad looks ahead for a chance at bronze.
Game 2 (Men): UBC 2, Trinity Western 2 (UBC wins 5-4 in Kicks)
Shots: UBC (13) TWU (11)
The game began with some early pressure by the Trinity Western Spartans that was easily absorbed by the UBC Thunderbirds. A 6thminute goal against the run of play saw Caleb Clarke of UBC pick off a pass, dribble into the box and slide the ball into the path of Victory Shumbusho who calmly tapped the ball into the far post. Plenty of fouls in the first half kept both teams on their toes. Both teams looked dangerous on set pieces but the main chances came early on came from defensive errors and lapses in concentration. In the 35thminute Bryce Prochnau from Trinity Western drove past a UBC defender to deliver a perfectly weighted ball into Cody Fransen who turned his defender and hit the cross bar from 12 yards out. In the 40thminute a counter attack from the Spartans saw another big chance squandered by Cody Fransen who was on the receiving end of a cross and couldn’t find the net from 5 yards out.
Minutes later another ball was whipped into Fransen who hit the post off a header, found his rebound and after a tremendous recovery save from UBC keeper Jason Roberts, finally found the back of the net. Zach Verhoeven and Victory Shumbusho of UBC put on a clinic down the wings but were unable to capitalize on any chances created. Trinity Western had a surge of energy after their goal and controlled the ladder parts of 1sthalf putting lots of pressure on UBC’s backline. Going into the 2ndhalf there was not much to separate the two teams.
Trinity Western looked to carry momentum into the 2ndhalf after a late tying goal but UBC had other ideas as Kristian Yli-Hietanen headed home UBC’s second of the game in the 50thminute. Shortly after, UBC looked to increase their lead but Trinity defender Noah Kroaker made a last-ditch tackle to stop Verhoeven through on net. After getting the assist in the first half Caleb Clarke looked to put himself in the goal column but came up short from 5 yards out. A beautiful turn on the ball saw Clarke through on net but instead of finding the back of the net, narrowly missed the near post. Spartan keeper Sebastian Colyn made some big saves throughout the second half to keep UBC within one goal and a 63rdminute corner kick tied the game at two a piece. Jacob Low was first to a loose ball in the box and slotted it in from inside the 6-yard box. With a renewed energy Trinity attacked UBC’s backline winning some corners and free kicks but were not able to provide the end product. With ten minutes to go in regular time, it was anyone’s game. The T-Birds Sam Fletcher curled in a dangerous ball across the face of the goal but had no one to finish it off. On the other wing, Verhoeven weaved his way past two Spartan defenders before smashing the ball high and wide from 15 yards out. The whistle blew to signal the end of regular time as both UBC and TWU prepared for penalties.
UBC Keeper Jason Roberts made a save on the first shot, which was enough to win the shootout. UBC scored all five of their penalties, with Kerman Pannu stepping up and calmly slotting the last shot to book a spot in the Final.
TWU Shot Takers: #24, 10, 20, 11, 31 UBC Shot Takers: #19, 14, 26, 8, 13
** Y= Goal N= No Goal
Game 3 (Women): Victoria 0 Alberta 0 (Victoria wins 4-3 in Kicks)
Shots: UVIC (5) Alberta (5)
The first of two Vikes games kicked off with Victoria taking on the University of Alberta in the second women’s semi-final. Looking to improve on a 3rdplace finish in the 2018 Keg Cup, the Vikes came out strong. Alberta took control of the opening few minutes and if it weren’t for a goal line clearance by Kennedy Martin in the 10thminute, Alberta would have taken the lead. Alberta’s speed on the counter attack continued to cause problems for the Vikes but ultimately didn’t result in anything worthwhile. The only real scoring chance of the half came in the 29thminute after a shot from Victoria’s Brea Christie was tipped just off target by Kiara Kilbey. A defensive error from Alberta left Paige Krivoshein of Victotia wide open in the box but a last-second block kept the game at tied at zero.
The second half began with a surging run from Kiara Kilbey who whipped a ball into the box. Aly Parth was denied a goal in the 58thminute by a diving Puck Louwes and minutes later Louwes denied another Alberta scoring opportunity. A loose ball in the box following a corner saw the Vikes’ Avneet Rai shoot the ball passed the Alberta keeper only to have it cleared off the line. In a second half with plenty of scoring opportunities for both sides, Alberta goalie Ashley Turner and Victoria’s goalie Puck Louwes played a large role in keeping the draw. Natalie Cavallin found herself on a breakaway after an expertly placed ball from Kilbey but was unable to find the back of the net as Turner stood tall between the posts. The Vikes took control of the last 15 minutes of game creating chances but were unable to finish. Taylor Bercic smashed a ball across the face of goal in the 88thminute and the Vikes were inches away from tapping the ball into the open net in a play that was symbolic of the entire game. The whistle blew to end regulation time at 0-0. Both teams prepared for a shootout.
Victoria was perfect from the spot as Brea Christie stepped up and smashed home the game winning kick from the spot. UVic will take on UBC in the Final March 24that 2pm, while Alberta look to win bronze against a young Trinity Western side at 10:00 a.m.
UVIC Shot Takers: #19, 4, 3, 8, 17 Alberta Shot Takers: #13, 5, 17, 12,
** Y= Goal N= No Goal
Game 4 (Men): Victoria 2 Fraser Valley 1
Shots: UVIC (14) UFV (3)
The Victoria Vikes looked to defend their 2018 Keg Cup title as they took on the Fraser Valley Cascades in a rematch of last year’s semi-final. The Vikes looked dangerous early through Araujo and Ventura on the wings. Ventura registered two shots early which got the Vikes off to a fast start. Jack Hill nearly found the back of the net in the 10thminute off a Ventura cross, but the Cascades keeper was up to the task. In the 17thminute, a set piece goal for Victoria was taken away after an offside call. Set pieces were promising for both teams throughout the half but lacked the finishing touch.
In the 34thminute, a goal from Ian Whibley saw the Vikes take the lead late in the first half. Harjot Nijjar beat the defence with a drop kick laced down the field and Whibley was there to head the ball home over the Fraser Valley keepers outstretched hands. Victoria controlled the opening half as the Cascades didn’t register one shot.
With one half to go both teams looked to book their spot in the final. The Vikes came out flying in the beginning of the second half but still weren’t able to convert. Fraser Valley was stuck counter attacking, as pressure from Vikes front man Ian Whibley was too much for them to handle. In the 56thminute, a defensive mistake from the Vikes lead to a breakaway for the Cascades’ Andrew Peat, who calmly slotted the ball past Nijjar to tie the game at one. In the 68thminute, a through ball from Jack Hill saw Whibley through on goal but the Vikes were again, unable to find the back of the net. Minutes later the Vikes’ Luc Brix Monteiro curled a ball into Whibley who mistimed the volley and missed the target. The Vikes again looked to convert on chances when Evan Libke was inches away from finding the back of the net on a corner. In the 90thminute an attack from the Vikes saw Nick Park in the 18-yard box. He smashed the ball past the opposition keeper to give the Vikes the lead with seconds left on the clock. The Cascades put everyone forward but were unable to make a comeback. Thanks to a last minute goal, the Vikes booked their spot in the final against UBC for the second year in a row. Victoria look to defend their title on March 24that 4 p.m. UFV will take on TWU for the bronze at 12 p.m.
SATURDAY, MARCH 23
10:00am (W) UBC 3 vs. Trinity Western 2
12:00pm (M) UBC 2 vs. Trinity Western 2 (UBC wins in Penalty Shootout)
2:00pm (W) Victoria 0 vs. Alberta 0 (Victoria wins in Penalty Shootout)
4:00pm (M) Victoria 2 vs. Fraser Valley 1
SUNDAY, MARCH 24
10:00am (W) Trinity Western vs. Alberta
12:00pm (M) Trinity Western vs. Fraser Valley
2:00pm (W) Victoria vs. UBC
4:00pm (M) Victoria vs. UBC