The University of Victoria Vikes women’s soccer team lost 2-1 to the Trinity Western Spartans in the Canada West conference final on Sunday in Langley, B.C.
But the season is far from over for the Vikes, which includes Whitehorse’s Jackie Harrison playing midfield.
The Vikes are turning their attention to this week’s CIS Women’s Soccer Championships. The Victoria squad will start the championships with a match against Quebec’s University of Sherbrooke on Thursday.
Sherbrooke finished the regular season as Quebec’s top-ranked team.
“We don’t know a whole lot about them, or them about us, but once you reach nationals everyone is really on the same level,” said Harrison in an email to the News. “We need to come out strong and ready to battle, but at this level most games are largely won from the neck up, with smart play and focus.”
In Sunday’s final, the Vikes tried to fight back from down two goals, but the Spartans went into defensive mode.
“Neither team dominated the other,” said Harrison. “After they scored their first goal they dropped a lot of bodies behind the ball, making it very difficult for us to penetrate past their 18-yard box, so I give them credit for that.
“The majority of the second half we had possession and were constantly attacking, but again they filled their back line with bodies and we ended up running out of time.
“We are not disappointed in our performance at all and know we can certainly compete and win games at this level.”
The Vikes reached the final with a 1-0 semifinal win over the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds on Friday. The match went through two scoreless overtimes before the Vikes won it in a shootout on their 10th shooter.
“It was quite the battle, but we kept focused and got the result we wanted,” said Harrison.
Victoria began the playoffs with a 3-0 shutout win over the University of Fraser Valley Cascades on Oct. 27.
The Vikes earned a position in the CIS Women’s Soccer Championships despite already having a spot. Teams in Canada West need to reach the conference finals to make it to the national championships, but since the University of Victoria is hosting the event, the Vikes were guaranteed a spot from the start.
“My team is feeling confident and strong as we enter this weekend and we are looking forward to playing on our home turf in front of our home town,” said Harrison.
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.
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