Vikes striker explodes for eight goals, women prepare for run to nationals

Eight goals in five games for UVic Vikes striker Emma Greig

Vikes striker Emma Greig holds six soccer balls

Tofino girl Emma Greig has a nose for the net.

Greig scored her league-leading seventh and eighth goals this season as she helped the UVic Vikes defeat the Calgary Dinos 3-0 on Saturday and the Lethbridge Pronghorns 7-0 on Sunday, tallying once in each.

“I actually grew up splitting time between Tofino and Parksville, and was able to play (competitive) soccer in Parksville,” said the Vikes second-year striker. Dad was in the coast guard and mom was an assistant in the school system, and were able to offer Greig a chance to play rep soccer without leaving the wonder of Tofino behind.

Last year, Greig earned plenty of playing time as a rookie, but only scored one goal. Yet she already has eight in five games, including two hat tricks.

And it gets better. Both hat tricks came when Greig entered the game as a second-half sub.

“Emma’s doing well and that’s great for her, and really, I’m happy with the group that we have,” said head coach Traci David. “The players are willing to work hard. That makes them easier to push and makes it easier for us to get better.”

With Greig amongst the Vikes’ explosive offence, the team is prepared to enter the CIS national soccer championships in November through the front door, by winning the Canada West championship, and not by the automatic berth that comes with UVic being the host.

In five games so far, the second-place Vikes have four wins and a tie, with 26 goals scored, one more than first place Trinity Western University (5-0) in the Canada West conference.

“Last year I only scored once but I don’t really know that I’ve done anything differently, still eating the same old breakfast,” Greig said.

One thing is sure different, and that’s the Canada West conference.

Earlier this season the Vikes steamrolled CIS newcomers UNBC Timberwolves 10-0 and Mount Royal Cougars 5-0. With 10 games between them, UNBC and Mount Royal have yet to win a game.

The Vikes only blip so far is a 1-1 draw with the Alberta Pandas.

“Certainly the new teams aren’t established yet, so those can be deceiving scores,” David said. “Ask us how we’re doing after we play Trinity and UBC (4-1).”

Scoring for the Vikes in Sunday’s win over Lethbridge were Greig, Amy Lawrence, Cassie Dennis, Nathalie Scharf, Sarah Douglas and Jana Yates. There was also an own goal by a Dinos player, which Mallory Hackett was the last Vikes player to touch. Vikes keeper Stephanie Parker earned the clean sheet on Saturday against Calgary, with goals from Greig, Jacqueline Harrison and Lindsay Hoetzel.

“We know we won’t be given anything and will have to earn it if we’re going to win the national championship,” Greig said.

Champs start slow

The magic shine of last year’s national soccer championship is beginning to wear off the UVic Vikes men’s soccer team.

The Vikes (2-3-1) lost to Calgary (1-4-1) on Saturday but rebounded to draw 1-1 with Lethbridge (2-2-2) on Sunday. Cameron Stokes scored the Vikes only goal on Sunday, and Gavin Barrett scored for the Vikes on Saturday.

The Vikes women host the Winnipeg Wesmen and Manitoba Bisons, 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday night at Centennial Stadium.The Vikes men host the Alberta Golden Bears Friday and Saskatchewan Huskies Saturday, 7:15 p.m.

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