Cameron Doherty, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – Three second half goals allowed the UVic Vikes men's soccer team to pick up their third straight win of the season in a 4-1 victory over the visiting Mount Royal Cougars inside Centennial Stadium on Sep. 17.
Third-year Vike Isaac Koch scored one goal on either side of the halftime break and first-year Ian Whibley scored the first two goals of his Vikes career in the victory. Forward Ryan Clancy scored the lone goal of the game for Mount Royal in the 41st minute of play.
The win was the third in a row for a Vikes team that has clawed their way out of the basement of the Pacific Division to a record of 3-4-1.
"The players are now focused on not making the mistakes that we have been making and luckily for us there are a lot of games left for us to play," said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson.
The loss drops Mount Royal to 2-3-1 on the season but the team from Calgary still did well on the weekend, defeating UNBC on Sep. 15 to earn three of a possible six points on a difficult road swing.
"We made some mistakes that changed the flow of a relatively even game," said Cougars head coach Ryan Gyaki. "Against a team like the Vikes if you make mistakes you pay the price and the young guys on our team have to learn that."
Koch got the scoring started just five minutes into the game when the speedy winger latched onto a long ball forward and then took his time to work around the Cougars defenders before slotting the ball into the back of the net.
It was the Cougars who responded the better of the two teams after allowing the early goal.
Some persistent pressure finally paid off for Mount Royal in the 41st minute when Clancy chested down a cross before unleashing a great shot past Jasdeep Lally in the Vikes net.
After resetting at the halftime break, the Vikes came out determined to capture all three points on their home turf.
Koch added his second goal of the game in the 49th minute before Whibley busted the game wide open with his first ever goal in a Vikes uniform.
"I saw the one defender closing me down, and most of the time I don't even know what I'm doing with the ball so he had no idea," said Whibley. "I was able to cut back, take a shot and fortunately it went in."
Whibley added an insurance marker in the 90th minute of play to put an end to any hopes of a comeback for a Cougars team that looked threatening late in the game.
"He was fresh and ready to go," said Wilson of Whibley. "He's a big solid kid and still needs to learn a lot about the position, but he's willing to work and will learn."
Whibley wasn't the only first year Vike to make an impact on the game, as midfielder Will Adams recorded two assists in the contest.
The four goals scored in the game by the Vikes was their highest total of the season and the team looks like a completely different squad than the one that was shutout three games in a row prior to their current winning streak.
"We are getting great work from Isaac, Mike (Baart) and Ian up front," said Wilson. "In particular we are getting good service from wide positions and our big guys up front are doing a great job."
The Vikes head out on the road next weekend to play the Saskatchewan Huskies on Sep. 23
Mount Royal returns to Calgary still in the thick of the Prairie Division playoff hunt for a game against Thompson Rivers on Sep. 23.
"Generally happy with the performance but it's disappointing when you give away gifts like that. We worked too hard to give away cheap goals," said Gyaki. "There was a lot of effort out there from our team. The other team was just more mature physically and mentally."
Both of those games can be watched live on canadawest.tv
SCORING 1 2 FINAL
Victoria (3-4-1) 1 4 4
MRU (2-3-1) 1 0 1
Victoria: #25 Ian Whibley
MRU: #10 Justin Anderson-Louch