Conditions at Centennial Stadium were less than enjoyable on Saturday, Feb. 28, as the UVic Vikes were unable to fight back against 3-0 deficit that saw them go down against a younger-looking Vancouver Whitecaps.
In the past three years, the score line was much closer as 2007 saw UVic win 1-0 and last year’s game was a tied 0-0 affair.
The United Soccer League champions came out looking to get on the scoreboard first. They seemed to play a very systematical game, which saw some solid passing that allowed them to retain ball possession.
With a quick start, the Whitecaps had the Vikes trailing by one. Vancouver’s Vincente Arze was able to pick up Lyle Martin for a through pass in which he tapped the ball into the back of the net.
Winger Takashi Hirano for the Whitecaps added to the goal with a thunderous strike from a corner kick in the 10th minute, which tricked the keeper and curved into the back of the net.
Lyle Martin finished up the early scoring as in the 16th minute, as he found the ball in a scramble in front of the net and chipped the keeper to put the visitors up 3-0.
For the rest of the game it seemed as if the Vikes had no answer to the Whitecaps defence as they could not build any momentum for more attacks.
In the second half, the Vikes picked up the tempo and posted 10 shots compared to their lonely one shot in the first half. Their efforts were not enough, however, as the soccer gods left them unrewarded after several attempts at the net.
UVic’s William Gye tried to get the attack going with a few misses and a breakaway chance by the end of the game, but the Whitecaps keeper was able to keep him and his teammates at bay to post a convincing shutout.
The Vikes showed their frustration with the lack of goals, with Sam Wingham and Kyle Kostis receiving yellow cards in the second half.
Keeper Dan Kilpatrick was busy saving 28 shots during the game and having to deal with a surging attack by the Whitecaps. The defence also had their hands full, foiling the attempts of the Whitecaps with good positioning.
“It was a battle,” said UVic defenceman Wes Barnett. “As a defender you are defending all the time against the ’Caps.”
The Vikes will now train for the annual Keg Spring Cup, which will be hosted at Centennial Stadium from March 28-29.