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Loss to Laval winds up men’s soccer season for UVic Vikes

Vikes go 1-2 at U Sports national championships in Ottawa
Action from the U Sports men’s soccer consolation final between the University of Victoria Vikes (in blue) and Laval Rouge et Or in Ottawa. The Vikes lost the match 3-0 Saturday (Nov. 20) to finish off their 2021 season. (Photo courtesy of University of Victoria)

The University of Victoria Vikes wound up their 2021 season Saturday (Nov. 20) with a 3-0 loss to Laval in the consolation final at the U Sports national championship tournament in Ottawa.

The Vikes put early pressure on the Rouge et Or in the opening 10 minutes, garnering a pair of on target shots, but it was Laval who scored first at the 11-minute mark.

UVIC nearly leveled the game when Ian Whibley hit a low drive from close range that was turned aside by Laval keeper Philippe Blouin.

Unable to beat steady UVic keeper Harjot Nijjar – he finished with five saves – through the middle of the game, Laval took advantage of a Vikes press to score on a breakaway for an insurance marker in the 70th minute. Laval added a late goal in extra time to wrap up the win.

Aiden Taylor led the offensive effort for the Vikes with two shots on target.

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The Vikes advanced to the consolation final with a 3-2 shootout win Friday over St. Mary’s Huskies from Halifax.

The back-and-forth match saw each team take the lead once but relinquish it.

After St. Mary’s opened scoring in the 15th minute on their first legitimate chance of the game, Isaac Koch converted a tap from Sergio Duran to knot the score for the Vikes in the 33rd minute.

Early in the second half, Jack Hill fed Koch with a pass and the sniper went far post to give the Vikes a 2-1 lead. But a gamble by UVic keeper Jared Perras, who came out to meet a Huskies attack in the 85th minute, did not pay off and St. Mary’s tied the score.

With extra time failing to settle things, the teams went to penalties, where UVic outscored the Huskies 3-1 on goals by Koch, Hill, Evan Libke and Russ Goertzen. Perras stopped three of four St. Mary’s attempts in the shootout.

The Vikes had been relegated to the consolation round with a 2-1 shootout loss to the University of Montreal Carabins in the championship quarter-finals on Nov. 18. UVic were outscored 4-3 on penalties in that match.

The Vikes finished the season with a 9-6-3 record overall and went 6-3-3 in Canada West regular season play to finish first in the conference.

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