Gideon Hill/UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER - The UBC Thunderbirds were able to continue their impressive form of late surging to a 6-1 defeat of the visiting University of Victoria Vikes on Friday night at Thunderbird Stadium, stretching their winning streak to five straight games. In the second women's soccer installment of this seasons Legends Cup rivalry series, UBC enjoyed a five goal second half with contributions from four-different goal-scorers on the evening to pull away in the second half, following a 1-1 deadlock going into the break.
UBC got off to a rapid start on the night, when a ball played over the top to Danielle Steer kindly found its way to the right foot of Amelia Crawford after a mistake on timing by UVic keeper Puck Louwes. The fourth-year forward did the rest, placing the ball into the vacant net from the top of the box gifting the home side an early 1-0 lead, just two minutes into the match.
UVic would respond however through dangerous striker Kiara Killbey in the 21st minute after a mistake by UBC. The Vikes capitalized after both T-Birds keeper Emily Moore and defender Emma Peckinpaugh miscommunicated, allowing the ball to fall to UVic midfielder Georgia Binold, whose low pass was deposited into the goal by Killbey for the 1-1 equalizer.
Both sides pushed for the lead to end the half, with second year Thunderbird Danielle Steer burgeoning into the Vikes box before being pushed for a corner in the 32nd minute. In addition, Victoria midfielder Kyra Teetzen had some space from distance and decided to have a go, but Rachel Kordysz who was a participant in a strong UBC defensive performance on Friday, slid down to block it in the 37th.
After giving up the equalizer mid way through the opening half, UBC head coach Jesse Symons said post game that he was looking for more composure from his squad heading into the half.
"Overall, I thought the first half was pretty scrappy, I had to tell the girls at half time to slow down and move the ball around".
The home squad was awarded a corner kick in the 47th minute that was delivered in by Peckinpaugh, with Steer eagerly turning and firing a shot at goal that was controlled by the aforementioned Michelle Jang, whose low hard shot beat Louwes, regaining the Thunderbirds lead and giving them the advantage for good.
Soon after, UBC struck again with an incredible third goal off the head of Danielle Steer thanks to a set up from fifth- year midfielder Margaret Hadley who beat a UVic defender on the left channel before lofting a lovely ball to Steer who finished with a header in minute 52 and a 3-1 T-Birds lead.
Eight minutes later, the dream second half continued for the T-Birds, as Jang got on the end of another ball from Steer, side stepping her check while sliding the ball into the visitors net far side past Louwes for UBC's 4-1 lead in the 60th.
Despite giving up three straight goals the Vikes did not give up as Killbey made a foray into the UBC half and had a go from 20 yards out, but her shot flew into the well timed sliding block by 'Birds defender and standout on the night, Jessica Williams in the 67th minute.
UBC would hold the fort defensively in the last 20 minutes, with more goals on the way to end the match. Substitute Melissa Bustos picked up the ball in midfield and sprinted at the UVic defenders before firing a shot at net from eight yards out that helplessly deflected past Louwes for UBC's fifth marker in the 87th.
Shortly after UBC rounded out the scoring courtesy of Sophie Damian's first Canada West goal in minute 93, collecting a nice pass from second year forward Liesanne Musico and besting Louwes once again for the sixth and final goal on the night for the hosts.
"The second half was much more comfortable, we moved the ball around using our technical players that led to the goals," said UBC head coach Jesse Symons. "Everyone is cheering for each other, we are sharing the load, and everyone is taking their chances. We have a good break coming up over the long weekend and some time to refresh, and after that it is all about preparing ourselves for Saskatchewan and Regina who are fighting for playoff spots, it will be two very tough games."
Next up, UBC hits the road again to face the Saskatchewan Huskies next Saturday, with kickoff set for 12 p.m. Meanwhile the Vikes look to rebound next weekend as they visit Regina on Saturday, for a 12 p.m. PT kickoff.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds