The University of Victoria Vikes are hosting the U Sports national soccer championships starting Thursday.
It’s been a long build for the Vikes towards this weekend since the program won the bid to host the nationals back in December of 2018. The Vikes have hosted the national women’s soccer championship three times before, the last time in 2012 when the team won bronze.
The do-or-die quarterfinal round opens at 10:30 a.m. Thursday with York vs. Acadia, followed by Montreal vs. UBC at 1 p.m., Cape Breton vs. Toronto, at 4 p.m. and the Calgary Dinos vs. Victoria Vikes at 6:30 p.m.
All games are in Centennial Stadium.
The Vikes finished the Canada West conference season on a 5-1-2 run with wins against the UBC Thunderbirds on the road, and gave the Calgary Dinos their only loss in the final week.
Despite the promising end to the season Victoria was unable to advance through the Canada West playoffs and are relying on the host spot in the finals. The Vikes eliminated Regina in Canada West playoffs opening round 5-4 in penalty kicks but lost to MacEwan 1-0 in the quarterfinals.
It has now been 10 days since the Vikes last played.
As for the championship, it will be a new winner for the Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy as last year’s national champion Ottawa Gee-Gees were eliminated from the Ontario playoffs.
Fifth-year Vikes forward Kiara Kilbey leads the team in goals with five.
The Vikes previously hosted the women’s soccer nationals in 1998, 2006 and 2012.