Three members of the University of Victoria Vikes soccer program were recognized with Canada West All-Star selections on Thursday afternoon.
Leading the way was Isaac Koch with the men’s program, as he was named a First Team All-Star.
Koch, a West Kelowna product, was one of the top players in the Canada West this season. He finished as the conference leader in assists (8) and points (17). He also finished in a tie for second with nine goals. He was named game MVP three times and helped lead the Vikes back to the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
It was a remarkable bounce back season for Koch, as he missed all of last season after he tore his ACL during the preseason.
On the women’s side, fifth-year defender Rachel Baird was honoured as a Second Team All-Star.
After spending the first four years of her career in the midfield, Vikes Head Coach Tracy David asked her to switch positions in an attempt to anchor a young back line. The transformation went smoothly, as she was a big reason why the Vikes allowed the fifth-fewest goals against.
The Nanaimo native still chipped in offensively with three goals.
While Baird kept things locked down on defence, other younger players were given a chance to flourish in the offensive end.
Taking advantage of that opportunity was Virk, who was named to the All-Rookie Team.
Raised in Surrey, Virk scored on the first shot in her first game as a Vike in a 1-0 win over the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades back on Sept. 6. She also sniped a pair of goals against the defending national champion Trinity Western University Spartans on Sept. 27. She earned a pair of game MVP nods this season.
Both soccer teams enter Canada West playoff action this weekend. The women are in Edmonton to take on the University of Regina Cougars on Friday (2 p.m. Mountain Time) in the play-in game. The men battle the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in Saskatoon on Saturday evening (7:30 p.m. Mountain Time) in the quarterfinals.