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UVic men look to halt soccer skid against UNBC

Slow starts have crushed any opportunity to record a first win four games into the Canada West season for coach Bruce Wilson’s University of Victoria men’s soccer side.
Slow starts have crushed any opportunity to record a first win four games into the Canada West season for coach Bruce Wilson’s University of Victoria men’s soccer side.

At 0-3-1, the Vikes are winless as they hit the one-third mark of the season tonight at 6:30 when they play host to the UNBC Thunderbirds at Centennial Stadium in the annual Thunderfest game, which tends to draw the largest crowd of the year.

“We need better performances from our team overall, a little more communication.

“Where we’ve really had trouble this year is at the start of the game. It’s insanity and you can never win when you give goals away early like that,” Wilson said of the results so far.

In an opening 5-1 loss to Trinity Western, the Vikes surrendered two goals in the opening eight minutes. In a 2-2 draw vs. Fraser Valley, the visitors scored less than two minutes in. On the road last weekend, UVic gave up another two in the opening four minutes in a 3-0 defeat at Thompson Rivers.

Then the opposite occurred at UBC-Okanagan as the hosts scored in extra time to send Wilson’s crew home with a tough 1-0 setback.

“It’s frustrating for the players, for sure, I thought we were the better team against UBCO,” Wilson said of last week’s results.

Now they look for the first positive result at Thunderfest tonight before entertaining UNBC again Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

“The players enjoy it. It’s a great atmosphere. It’ll be the first chance for some of them to play in front of a really big crowd,” Wilson said of tonight’s game.

Meanwhile, the UVic women’s team will attempt to build off its 1-0 home win last week against rival UBC with a weekend venture to the Lower Mainland to face the Fraser Valley Cascades today at 5:30 p.m. and the Trinity Western Spartans on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Coach Tracy David’s Vikes entered the national top-10 rankings at No. 9 this week after upsetting No. 3 UBC.

“This is a big weekend for us. Playing on the road always presents other challenges. We have a young team and many of them have never travelled with us before so that’s a whole new learning experience,” said David. “Couple that with playing two very good teams that always play well and it’s tough.”

mannicchiarico@timescolonist.com

Twitter.com/tc_vicsports