The 3,300 in attendance for the annual Thunderfest game couldn’t will the UVic Vikes soccer team to victory, as the UNBC Timberwolves picked up all three points on the turf at Centennial Stadium, Sep. 8.
Goals from Tofa Fakunle and Stuart Rowlands on either side of the halftime break gave UNBC the 2-0 win, boosting the Timberwolves record to 2-0-3 while the loss drops the Vikes to 0-4-1 on the season.
“Disappointing result but I thought we played very well in the first half, that was our best half of football this year for sure,” said Vikes head coach Bruce Wilson. “A good game, and full credit to them for taking their opportunities but you are not going to win without scoring goals.”
The Vikes came out with all the pressure early, boosted by the boisterous crowd but couldn’t break down a stubborn UNBC defence.
Their best chance to get on the board came in the 12th minute when midfielder Isaac Koch was played through beautifully by Michael Baart but his shot just brushed the underside of the crossbar and UNBC managed to scramble the ball away.
“It was a nervy game to come into because UVic has not had the start they want results wise but I know they are a good team and they showed it again today,” said Timberwolves head coach Steve Simonson.
After weathering the storm early, UNBC was able to play the perfect road game, clogging up the midfield and denying the speedy Vikes any chance to break in on Tyrone Venhola in the Timberwolves net.
UNBC’s sturdy defence was rewarded in the 33rd minute when a Fakunle corner kick found the head of Rowlands who made no mistake in powering the ball into the UVic net.
“Once we got the goal it settled us down a little bit and we had the experience to see us through at the end,” said Simonson.
The Vikes fought back, but any hope of a comeback was cut down when some good work from UNBC led to them being awarded a penalty-kick in the 66th minute.
Fakunle stepped up to the spot and made no mistake in placing the ball past Jasdeep Lally in the Vikes net.
“We are fortunate because this is now two out of three years that we have gotten to be involved in this game,” said Simonson of the Thunderfest game. “UVic does a great job putting this on. The fans were fantastic throughout the whole game.”
The Vikes will get a chance for revenge early, with these same two teams battling tomorrow night in Victoria at 7:15 p.m.
“We didn’t convert our chances and that’s the way this year is going,” said Wilson. “We just have to keep battling, we have another game tomorrow night and we have to start taking advantage of the fact that we have so many home games this year.”