The Victoria Vikes were awarded a pair of penalty kicks and made good on both, beating a UNBC Timberwolves team starting seven rookies by a 2-0 score on Friday, September 29th, 2023 in Victoria, BC.
In the 20th minute, the TWolves nearly got on the board off a Vikes turnover in their own third. The ball fell to Michael Henman who dribbled into the box, but saw his attempt go just north of the crossbar.
Just four minutes later, it was the Vikes who came close to opening the scoring when a bouncing ball found Matthew Pearse all along inside the box. His chip looked labeled for the net behind Daniel Zadravec, but the rangy goalkeeper dove to his left and swallowed up the attempt to keep it nil-nil.
In the 40th minute, the Vikes got on the board off a Timberwolves mishap. A ball was played back to Zadravec who had his first touch bounce, giving Vikes’ forward Javier Sagaste a chance to close in on him as he tried to gain possession. Zadravec got a piece of Sagaste’s leg, and the Vike went down in the box, earning a penalty kick. He then stepped to the spot and made no mistake, making it 1-0.
In the second half, Victoria continued to apply pressure, highlighted by a Grade-A opportunity for Remi Barbot, but the young TWolves held up and kept it a one goal deficit.
However, the Vikes earned another penalty kick when a Victoria player went down in the box off a harmless looking corner kick, but the referee deemed it enough to award the home side a PK. Sagaste again stepped to the spot and beat Zadravec with a low shot to double the lead.
The young Timberwolves would look to push back, but the hole was too deep to dig out of as they’d eventually run out of time, falling 2-0.
11 of the 15 TWolves that saw the pitch were first-year players, as Steve Simonson continues to try to balance the present and future of the program as UNBC still finds itself firmly in the Canada West playoff picture with the season winding down.
The two teams will clash again on Saturday night in Victoria.