The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team is on its way to the Canada West semifinals and Whitehorse’s Jackie Harrison has helped make it happen.
The Vikes advanced with a 3-0 quarterfinal win over the University of Fraser Valley Cascades on Saturday.
“The weather didn’t allow us to play our usual high possession game. However, we adjusted well and played to the conditions,” said Harrison in an email to the News. “It took us a while to score but our overall team fitness allowed us to keep battling and eventually get the result we wanted.”
The Vikes made the playoffs by finishing the regular season second in the Canada West conference with a 9-2-1 record.
Harrison played a major role in getting the Vikes to the postseason. The 22-year-old midfielder finished the regular season with six goals, including four game-winners, which put in a tie for most in the regular season for the Canada West Conference.
The Vikes will be playing the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the seimifinal on Saturday. The Vikes blanked the Thunderbirds 5-0 in preseason play in August and beat them 2-1 on October 19, with Harrison scoring the game winner.
“They are a physical and very strong team so we need to focus and play our game by out-running and out-passing them,” said Harrison.
A win on Saturday will put the Vikes in the finals on Sunday against a team yet to be determined.
Teams in Canada West need to reach the finals of Canada West to make it to the CIS Women’s Soccer Championships. However, the Vikes are guaranteed a spot at the nationals because the University of Victoria is hosting the championships.
“My team consists of both experience and youth, which in turn brings us both knowledge and new energy,” said Harrison. “From here on we have to play smart soccer and keep battling like we have all season.”
Harrison is one of seven Whitehorse athletes who have played soccer at the post-secondary level this season.
Matthew Thomson just finished the season as captain of the Lethbridge Community College Kodiaks.
Katherine Lowey competed for the University of Calgary Dinos, who just missed the playoffs.
The Grant MacEwin University Griffins had Kurtis Hills and David Ratcliff both playing midfield this season.
Avery Enzenauer played defence for her second year on the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves.
Dillon Vickerman is a first-year player on the men’s team at the University of Victoria. The team finished the regular season with a 6-6-2 record and is playing in the Canada West quarterfinal against the University of Saskatchewan on Friday.
In addition to playing for the Vikes, Harrison played for the Victoria Highlanders FC in the semi-pro W-League over the summer.
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