Cameron Doherty, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – VICTORIA – It took five games longer than the UVic Vikes men's soccer team would have liked but they are finally in the win column after defeating the UNBC Timberwolves 2-1 in Victoria on Sep. 9.
Veterans led the Vikes to victory as the goals were scored by fifth-years Nick Graham and Keevan Webb. Midfielder Brett Bobier answered for the Timberwolves but the team was unable to beat Jasdeep Lally again as the Vikes goalie made two saves in the win.
Just like one night ago, it was the Vikes who started the game the better of the two teams.
"We set up to make sure the defensive end was right and I think we did that but our problem was that we kind of got a little bit lazy because of that," said Timberwolves head coach Steve Simonson. "We lacked the conviction to pass and play and they won all the effort categories in the first half."
After being held scoreless for the past three games in a row, the Vikes persistence moving forward finally paid off when Graham let loose a rocket of a shot that grazed the underside of the crossbar and past Tyrone Venhola in net for UNBC
"I've been so impressed with Nick, I thought he was absolutely outstanding and our central midfield dominated the game," said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson. "In the first half we were all over them, we dominated possession and in the end we managed to score two goals, I think this is going to give our team confidence heading towards the two games next weekend."
The goal seemed to wake up a Timberwolves side that was still riding high from their victory over the Vikes not even 24 hours earlier, and UNBC grabbed momentum right from the start of the second half.
In the 54th minute of play that Timberwolves pressure paid off when Bobier found some space between the two Vikes central defenders, took a pass from Owen Stewart and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
For the first time this season however, the Vikes found an answer when they needed it the most when Webb powered the ball into the net from an Isaac Koch corner kick.
"It felt great; a really happy moment when finally things started clicking for us out there. It was a great performance by everyone," said Webb. "We need to build on this big time, we need to turn things around and get a couple more wins."
The Timberwolves pressured late but a resilient Vikes team was not going to be denied a first taste of victory in 2017, repelling attack after attack from UNBC.
The loss is the first of the year for UNBC, and they now hold a record of 2-1-3. They will return home to play the Mount Royal Cougars on Sep. 15 and the Alberta Golden Bears on Sep. 17
"We are disappointed to not come out of tonight with something but we are well clear of where we were last year," said Simonson "We've had a very good start to the season and we should be really proud of what we've done over six games."
The win bumps the Vikes to 1-4-1 on the season and they are back in action, at home, against MacEwan University on Sep. 15 and Mount Royal on Sep. 17.
All four of those games can be watched live on canadawest.tv
SCORING 1 2 FINAL
Victoria (1-4-1) 1 1 2
UNBC (2-1-3) 0 0 1
Victoria: #3 Tarnvir Bhandal
UNBC: #4 Cody Gysbers