Vikes claim second straight Canada West title
by Ben Schach, UBC Sports Info
Photo courtesy Rich Lam / UBC Athletics: The Victoria Vikes won a 3-2 shootout thriller to claim their second consecutive Canada West men's soccer crown
VANCOUVER - The Victoria Vikes claimed the 2009 Canada West championship and the lone spot up for grabs at the 2009 CIS championship with a thrilling 3-2 victory (4-2 in penalty kicks) over the Alberta Golden Bears in penalty kicks at Thunderbird Park in Vancouver.
The Vikes withstood a furious Bears charge late in regulation and held on with a perfect performance from the penalty spot.
With Victoria leading 2-1 in penalty kicks, Vikes keeper and tournament MVP Dan Kilpatrick made the biggest of his many top quality saves, stopping Cameron Black's low shot to give his side the early advantage.
Wes Barrett and Miguel Romero kept the Vikes perfect through four rounds and the island school claimed their second straight Canada West title when Kevin Perry sent his effort high over the net.
"We put a lot of things together this year in the last three weeks. We gave very few goals away and played well as a team," said UVic head coach Bruce Wilson. "I honestly thought we deserved the win today. We were ahead by two and we hit the post twice but you know what, I give Alberta a lot of credit. They battled back, got the two goals and made the game interesting. When you go to penalties, you have to have people with confidence and that is where our seniors really stepped up."
The Vikes looked to be on pace for a decisive victory in the early going, controlling the tempo and possession for most of the first 75 minutes. They were rewarded just before the half with a 1-0 lead after a Romeo free kick from just outside the corner of the box made its way through the crowd in front before alluding Alberta keeper Jaswinder Gill.
Victoria maintained the upper hand through the first portion of the second half and looked to have found the elusive insurance goal in the 75th but Barrett's strike found only woodwork after beating a helpless Gill.
Their continued pressure paid off just minutes later, however, with a second goal off a set piece. In the 79th minute, Sam Wignham delivered a supreme ball into the box that was neatly deflected by James Rhodes into the back of the net.
Perhaps with thoughts of next weekend's CIS championship in Langley creeping into their minds, the Vikes quickly found themselves level again after a pair of Alberta goals just three minutes apart.
The Golden Bears got on the board in the 81st with a perfectly executed long range tic tac toe springing Kevin Perry down the left flank with his strike beating Kilpatrick to the far post.
The ferocious comeback was on and the Bears found the equalizer in the 84th of a set piece of their own. Sean Colvin's free kick from 25 yards out was partially blocked by the Vikes wall, however, Milan Timotijevic rocketed a half volley from just inside the penalty area off that deflection.
Both teams had great chances in the extra frame to take the lead but were unable to capitalize.
Alberta looked to have earned their first lead of the evening early in the first overtime period when Timotijevic was fed a low cross right in front of the Vikes net but his redirection was somehow parried by a lunging Kilpatrick.
The Vikes responded with their best chance in the second of two 15-minute overtime periods with game MVP Will Gye being sent in all alone behind the Alberta defence, however, after touching the ball past a diving Gill he fired his strike wide of the empty net.