University of Victoria Vikes veterans Stephanie Parker, Nathalie Scharf, Tessa Margetts and Jackie Harrison were hoping their university careers would not end on their home pitch on the consolation side of the prestigious CIS womens soccer nationals.
They and their Vikes teammates made sure of that in Thursdays 2-1 quarter-final victory over the Sherbrooke Vert & Or in front of close to 1,000 fans at Centennial Stadium.
The win secures Victorias place in todays final four on the championship side of the ledger, where they will face rivals the Trinity Western Spartans, who defeated the Vikes 2-1 in last Saturdays Canada West championship.
Victoria was looking for a rematch, and they got it in todays semifinals thanks to Harrisons header in the 16th minute and Margettss effort after brilliant layoff passes from Emma Greig and Harrison in the 50th. Chloe Belhumeur Limoges replied for Sherbrooke in the 53rd minute.
It was such a good win our team deserves this. Weve worked so hard for this, said Scharf, a fifth-year midfielder whose chip into the Sherbrooke box set up the opening goal by Harrison. Such devoted players. Weve never had a team thats connected like this.
Scharf, Parker, Margetts and Janelle Smith are all in their final years of eligibility. Harrison is a fourth-year player whose university career is also creeping closer to a finish with one season remaining.
Fortunately it doesnt end on the consolation side of the draw.
Im so excited to play Trinity, Scharf said. They were very opportunistic [Saturday]. Hopefully [tonight] we can get a few quick goals and win. I really think we can beat them.
Trinity Western defeated Wilfrid Laurier 2-1 in the late afternoon, early evening semifinal on Thursday, setting up the rematch at 7 tonight at Centennial.
Wed have to play them sooner or later anyway, so we may as well play them sooner, said Vikes head coach Tracy David, who was ejected from Saturdays game.
The U of Vic, we have great history with them, said Trinity Western head coach Graham Roxburgh, who was scouting his next opponent after Trinitys win. They are very good. I dont think they have weaknesses right from goalkeeper to their frontrunners. In some ways, were familiar with each other, having just beat each other up the last two weeks.
Saturday was a physical game, he said of the Canada West final. Any time a Canada West championship is on the line, its going to be physical, and it was. Not a bad physical. I thought both teams contested well and fought to the end.
Tonight should be no different..
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