Goin’ to playoffs

By Amanda and Krista VanSteelandt

Perhaps no one is more surprised than the Dinos men’s soccer team that they are heading into the post-season. Their final three games were hard-fought and evenly matched, but they only prevailed in the last one.

The U of C met their competition for the final playoff spot in Canada West, the University of Victoria Vikes, Thu., Oct. 27.

Dinos Keeper Richard (Two-minute Rick) Urbanczyk made some beautiful saves in the first half, but the Vikes broke through in the 54th minute with a goal from Will Moore following a scramble in front of the net. A second goal was scored by Cole McFarlane off a cross in the 69th minute.

Dino Andrew “Horse” Waiand had a great chance near the game’s end but was thwarted by the cross-bar. Jordan Reems put the final nail in U of C’s coffin with a breakaway goal, making the final score 3-0.

The men moved on to play the Trinity Western University Spartans, the playoff host with an automatic spot in the playoffs, Sat., Oct. 29. The match was even with good chances created for both teams. The Dinos led 18-15 in shots, but TWU was more accurate with 11 shots on net to the Dinos’ eight.

The stalemate was broken with a goal by Spartan Todd Anderson in the 87th minute in a one-on-one with Calgary keeper Brian “Ginger” McDonnell.

The season’s final games would determine who would get the last playoff spot. The Dinos took on CW’s top-ranked University of British Columbia Thunderbirds while UVic was matched with the meager University of Lethbridge Pronghorns Sun., Oct. 30. Hopes for the last spot were looking dim, but we need not have worried.

The T-Birds guided the first half of the game, holding a 1-0 lead with a goal by Darren Prentice. But the Dinos took the reins in the second. Tanmeet “Meat” Singh scored the equalizer in the 73rd minute.

Garret “Hero” Meier scored the game-winner and key to the post-season with a nail-biting five minutes left in regular time. The Dinos secured the final playoff spot with the 2-1 win and concurrent draw between UVic and the U of L, squeaking past UVic by a single point.

“We have to thank Lethbridge, sticking to our guns, and scoring that last goal against UBC,” said Head Coach Andy Gibbs.

U of C will battle on without veteran Adam “A-Mac” MacDonald, who is suspended on yellow cards. Veteran Adam “Oni” Onulov will be stepping into his boots at the back.

Their semi-final match-up will be a repeat against UBC Fri., Nov. 4 on TWU turf.