A last minute goal by Presley Rangel propelled the host Vikes into the consolation final with a 1-0 victory over the Cape Breton Capers.
It didn’t take either team long to get settled as both teams had quality chances at both ends of the pitch. UVic right back Kennedy Martin found herself with time to hit a strong shot from a corner in the fourth minute and a point-blank shot a couple of minutes later straight into the arms of Caper keeper Haley Kardas.
Though much of the first half was played in the Capers’ half of the field, the Vikes had to stay sharp for any counter attacks as Rookie of the Year and First Team All-Canadian Alliyah Rowe earned a couple of corner kicks.
On another Cape Breton counter in the 36th minute, MacKenna King beat Vikes keeper Puck Louwes on a 30-yard shot only to be stopped by the cross bar.
In the 44th minute, UVic’s Eryn Libert-Scott fed Kiara Kilbey a break-away pass which sent her on a one-on-one with Kardas. Kilbey took a point-blank shot which Kardas deftly handled to secure the blank sheet.
The Vikes kept Kardas busy in the second half with weak shots and crosses but she held her position well. The 75th minute saw another near miss for the Vikes, as a free kick played into Kilbey set her free again only to be foiled by Kardas.
A 82nd minute shot by the Capers’ Rachel Leck against the run of play had the crowd gasping but went just wide. An 87th minute strike by Vikes’ Avneet Rai just went wide. Wave after wave of Vikes pressure was stifled until the 90th plus minute when UVic was awarded a free kick just on their half of the field.
Rachel Baird floated the ball into the box where Presley Rangel stretched out to finish on the Vikes 15th shot of the game.
“I just tried to get the ball into a dangerous area,” said Baird. “I think someone woofed on it first and it slipped through to Presley and she was in the perfect spot.”
The Vikes advance to the consolation final on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT where they’ll play the Montreal Carabins who defeated the York Lions 2-0 in the earlier consolation semifinal.
Nike Top Performers
VIC: Rachel Baird
CBU: Haley Kardas
“I was waiting for the clock to go down, I wanted it to go to PKs. It was an unfortunate result and a punch in the stomach, but it happens,” said Kardas. “We competed the best we could out there.
“Just getting here is an honour. Obviously we would like to play another game and we are sad the way this one ended. We put in the best effort we could. It was a pleasure to be here.”