Victoria scores in final minute of play. Paal scores third of season. At Thunderbirds Saturday.
Men’s Soccer (Canada West Conference play)
UBC Okanagan Heat (4-4-1) vs. UVIC Vikes (5-1-1)
|Goals by period||1||2||Tot|
|UBC Okanagan Heat||0||1||1|
|UBC Okanagan||56:09||Enzo Paal (3) (Jorden Leib)|
|Victoria||90:00||Cameron Stokes (5) (Cam Hundal)|
VICTORIA, B.C. – An eleventh-hour effort by the host University of Victoria Vikes saved them from what appeared to be a sealed win for the visiting UBC Okanagan Heat Friday night as the potential playoff opponents went to a 1-1 draw.
In the 90th minute of the game, Victoria’s Cameron Stokes finally beat sophomore Heat keeper Christopher Cuthill (Delta, BC) to escape the jaws of defeat. Cuthill constantly bewildered the lackluster Vikes offense, but a crucial lapse in defensive concentration in the closing seconds of the match would cost the Okanagan team dearly.
Stokes was named UVic’s Player of the Game. On the other side of the field, fourth-year defender Harrison Shrimpton (Whistler, BC) was given Player of the Game honors for the Heat.
“[We] gave them an opportunitywhen we should have shut them down,” said Heat coach Dante Zanatta postgame. “For a good portion of the game we were a better team.”
In the 56th minute, a strong header pass from the midfield found fourth-year Heat forward Jorden Leib (Bellingham, WA), who expertly crossed it down in front of the net where second-year striker Enzo Paal (Coldstream, BC) tapped the ball in for his third goal of the season.
Up 1-0, the Okanagan squad looked poised to avenge a heartbreaking 2-1 defeat at home on September 19th to the same team, with Cuthill to notch his second-straight shutout.
Instead, the Vikes find themselves at 5-1-1 for the season, while the Heat remain just behind at 4-4-1.
Still, Zanatta feels good about his team’s chances at another go should the two teams run into each other for the first round of the playoffs in just a few weeks’ time.
“I think we proved to ourselves that we could play them and compete,” the coach said, adding that, with regards to tonight’s game, he “thought we did a good job of shutting down the rotation in the midfield.”
UBC Okanagan will take the ferry back to the mainland for a date with sister school opponents the UBC Thunderbirds at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the Vikes will host the Heat’s travel partner in the TRU WolfPack.
Watch all the action on stream and view live stats at canadawest.tv
Heat notes: If the playoffs started today, the Vikes and Heat would face-off for the first round as the 2nd and 3rd seeds, respectively, while UBC and Fraser Valley would face-off as the 1st and 4th …