After a weekend series that netted them one win and one loss, the University of Saskatchewan men’s soccer team maintains the top position in the Prairie Division of Canadian Interuniversity Sport standings.
The Dogs hosted the University of Victoria Vikes and University of the Fraser Valley Cascades on Oct. 12 and 13, respectively.
The games put the boys at 8-3-1 for the season and clinched them a spot in the playoffs.
The weekend got off to a slow start, with the Huskies coming up even in a 2-2 draw against the Vikes on Saturday.
Third-year striker Brett Levis netted the Huskies’ first goal in the 29th minute, managing to out-maneuver Vikes goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou as he unsuccessfully dove for the save.
Victoria answered only 15 minutes later with a shot from midfielder Cam Hundal, who broke free from the Dogs’ defence to land a shot past Huskies keeper Michal Bandula.
Vikes midfielder Cameron Stokes edged his team into the lead with a goal in the 66th minute. With opposing forward Craig Gorman on the verge of deflecting the ball, Bandula delayed his dive and was unable to get in front of the kick to stop the goal.
Staring down a 2-1 lead for Victoria, Huskies striker Garrett Peters and defender Taylor Evernden launched an attack on an empty Vikes net. Peters shot a pass toward Evernden, who was unable to get ahold of the ball before two of the visiting team’s defenders converged on him.
With the closing moments of the game upon them, the Huskies struck back with a goal from Peters in the 85th minute. Midfielder Luigi Bekwayo sent a cross towards Peters, who beat the Vikes’ defence to successfully draw even and push the match into extra time.
Despite chances on net during added time, neither team was able to land another goal.
Bandula stopped seven shots while Mitrou saved five. The visiting team was able to get off 16 shots compared to the Huskies’ 12.
Sunday had the Huskies saying farewell to fifth year players Ryan Contenti, Eoin McFadden and Scott Myrah, who had reached their final years of eligibility, with a 2-0 win over the UFV in the Dogs’ last regular season home game.
After an impressive dribble that out-played three UFV defenders, Peters passed to Bekwayo who then used the opportunity to net the opening goal with a bottom-right corner shot that beat Cascades keeper Mark Village in the 54th minute.
Cascades midfielder Connor MacMillan aimed to settle the score with a bicycle kick off a pass from Ethan Collins, but saw his attempt fail as the shot sailed just over the cross bar. Another opportunity for MacMillan was subdued by a diving save from Bandula.
Sliding the ball past the Cascades keeper in the 88th minute, third-year midfielder Bobbi Nicholat landed the Huskies’ second and final goal of the match. The shot came off an effective drive from Peters that saw the striker best the UFV defence and create enough room to successfully vault a pass to Nicholat.
The two keepers tied each other in saves, stopping three shots each. Keeping a solid handle on the ball throughout the game, the Dogs outshot the Cascades 14-10.
The Huskies will next take on the Mount Royal University Cougars in Calgary on Saturday Oct. 19 and Sunday Oct. 20 at Mount Royal University Field Stadium.
Photo: Katherine Federoff