The UVic Vikes women’s soccer team turned up the heat on the UBC Okanagan Heat on Saturday, relentless in possession in the first half and ultimately recorded a 1-0 road win in Kelowna.
Stephanie Badilla Gutierrez curled in a corner kick in the 31st minute, the sixth of seven corner kicks in the opening half. It was the only goal required, as the Vikes went into lockdown mode for much of the second half as goalkeeper Puck Louwes recorded the clean sheet.
The Vikes pressured early and it paid off in the fourth victory of the season to go with a loss and a tie for coach Tracy David’s crew, which travels to Kamloops today at noon to face Thompson Rivers in Canada West soccer play.
“We generated a lot of corners, but there weren’t a lot of [scoring] chances,” said David, who was glad to see the corner go in. “Thank you, Stephanie. Their pitch, I believe, is 72 yards wide, while ours is 75, so that might have helped a little.
“It’s three points and it’s a tough place to play,” David said of the victory. “UBCO did a good job of pressuring the ball. They had a lot of bodies on the ball.”
The Heat remains winless in five games at 0-4-1 and has scored just three goals in the handful of outings.
Thompson Rivers, meanwhile, was peppered 6-0 by UBC on Saturday to fall to 1-4 in the standings and, like UBCO, has scored just three times.
“I think they’re going to come out fighting, especially after giving up that many goals. We have to be ready and we have to create more scoring chances,” David said of today’s matchup.
Meanwhile, the men’s Vikes fell behind early and never recovered in a 6-0 road thumping to the Saskatchewan Huskies.
Tyler Redl opened the scoring in the 16th minute and Gabriel Buatois upped the lead to 2-0 in the 35th as the Huskies took a 2-0 advantage into the halftime break. Buatois, Marcello Gonzalez, Kwame Opoku and Bryce Marinus all tallied in the second half for Saskatchewan, which improves to 6-3.
Victoria, which had its three-game win streak snapped, slips to 4-4-1 in the men’s standings.
In rugby play, the Vikes men’s team lost 44-24 to the visiting UBC Thunderbirds at Wallace Field.
With the win the T-Birds, who have claimed the last four Boot series titles against UVic, also recorded their first B.C. Premier League victory to improve to a 1-2-0, while the Vikes fall to 0-3-0.
“Defence is our problem and we have to continue to work on it. We can’t give up 44 points and expect to win,” said Vikes head coach Doug Tate.