It’s go time for the UVic Vikes men’s soccer team as they open the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships against the Montréal Carabins on Thursday.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Centennial Stadium, the last of four quarterfinals that day.
Entering the tournament are eight university squads from across the nation, the Carabins, Saint Mary’s Huskies, McMaster Marauders, Alberta Golden Bears, Cape Breton Capers, McGill Redmen, Toronto Varsity Blues and the University of Victoria.
Each team either won its conference championship or was a finalist, while the Vikes enter as hosts. The Vikes (11-3-2) did win the Canada West bronze medal, however, with a 1-0 win over the Trinity Western Spartans (8-4-2) on Sunday.
But it was the underdog Golden Bears (7-3-4) pulling off massive upsets to win Canada West gold and a spot in this week’s nationals.
The fourth place Golden Bears defeated the first place Vikes 2-1 in the semifinal on Saturday and then won on a goal in the 89th minute to beat the UBC Thunderbirds 1-0 in the final.
“It was ‘supposed’ to be us in the gold medal game but now we’re the ‘other team’ (going into nationals),” coach Bruce Wilson said.
Veteran goalie Dan Kilpatrick made seven stops on Sunday to earn a clean sheet. All-star rookie duo Craig Gorman and Cam Hundal connected for the bronze medal game’s only goal, with Gorman redirecting a Hundal shot.
Mitrou will start in goal on Thursday as the outstanding tandem continue their rotation.
“I have all the confidence in both of them,” Wilson said.
Women’s watch ends
The Vikes women also lost in the Canada West semifinal as three different Trinity Western Spartans scored to defeat the Vikes 3-0 in Langley on Friday.
Jacqueline Harrison scored for the Vikes in their 2-1 loss to the UBC Thunderbirds in Saturday’s third place game.
While Gorman finished the season as the Canada West male athlete of the week, Hundal (Surrey) was named Canada West rookie of the year.
Nothing can discredit Hundal’s impact with two goals and eight assists, many times coming off the bench mid-game, but word around the league is if it weren’t for Gorman’s age, 23, his seven goals would have earned him the award reserved for first years under the age of 21.
Hundal’s effort also made Wilson look all the more genius in the eyes of his peers as the Canada West coach of the year.
Making the first all-star team from UVic are Mitrou, defender Gavin Barrett and midfielder Gorman, with Hundal named to the second team. Midfielder Jaclyn Sawicki was named to the women’s first team and fullback Amy Lawrence to the second team.
Men’s national championship teamsSaint Mary’s Huskies (AUS playoff champions: 4-3-6 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions: 8-1-3 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)McMaster Marauders (OUA champions: 10-2-4 regular season / 3-0 playoffs)Alberta Golden Bears (CWUAA champions: 7-3-4 regular season / 2-0 playoffs)Cape Breton Capers (AUS regular season champions: 10-1-2 regular season / 0-1 playoffs)McGill Redmen (RSEQ finalists: 7-3-2 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)Toronto Varsity Blues (OUA finalists: 10-2-2 regular season / 2-1 playoffs)Victoria Vikes (Championship hosts: 10-2-2 regular season / 1-1 playoffs)
Wed. Nov. 96 p.m. All-Canadian Awards Banquet
Thurs. Nov. 1011 a.m. Quarter-final 1: Saint Mary’s vs. McGill1:30 p.m. Quarter-final 2: Alberta vs. Toronto 4:30 Quarter-final 3: McMaster vs. Cape Breton 7:00 Quarter-final 4: Montreal vs. Victoria
Fri. Nov. 1111 p.m. Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 21:30 p.m. Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 4:30 p.m. Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 7 p.m. Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4
Sat. Nov. 122:30 fifth-place game 3 p.m. Alumni Game/6 p.m. Alumni Dinner
Sunday, Nov. 1311:30 a.m. Bronze medal 14 p.m. Championship final