Junior forward Taylor Allen scored both of WWU’s goals in exhibition game versus UBC in Vancouver. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Fall Short in Preseason Opener at UBC, 3-2
August 19, 2018
VANCOUVER, BC. – Western Washington University junior forward Taylor Allen scored a pair of second-half goals, but the Vikings dropped their preseason opener 3-2 in an exhibition match vs. the University of British Columbia on Saturday afternoon at Thunderbird Park.
The game was an exhibition match, with the final result and all game statistics not counting towards the 2018 season standings. This was the first of two exhibition matches before the Vikings officially open the 2018 season at the end of the month.
Allen (Russellville, AR) scored in the 72nd and 83rd minutes to account for both of Western’s scores in the game, while freshmanIakov Shmelev (Togliatti, Russia) assisted on WWU’s first goal.
The Vikings held a 11-10 advantage in shots for the game, with a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal.
The Thunderbirds took the early lead with goal by Riley Pang in the 21st minute, heading home the go-ahead score off a cross from Connor Guilherme that snuck inside the left post.
UBC carried the 1-0 lead into halftime out-shooting WWU 7-3 in the first 45 minutes, but the Vikings held a 2-1 advantage in shots on goal in the very defensive first stanza.
British Columbia extended the lead to 2-0 with an early second-half goal when Kristian Yli-Hietane knocked in a loose ball off a free kick from Jora Soran from close quarters in the 48th minute.
Yli-Hietane added his second goal of the game in the 61st minute, extending the lead to 3-0 on a tap-in to the bottom right corner off a cross from the left box from Caleb Clarke.
The Vikings got on the board in the 72nd minute when Allen took a through ball from Shmelev and connected on a low shot from 18-yards out that found the back of the net.
Allen cut UBC’s lead to a one-goal margin with his second goal of the game in the 83rd minute, knocking in a rebound off his own shot from the top of the box that founds its way past Thunderbirds goalie Jason Roberts.
The Vikings fought hard for the equalizer over the last four minutes, when junior midfielder Blake McMillian (Puyallup, WA/Tacoma CC) took a pair of shots, with Roberts recording a save in the 86th minute and McMillian firing wide left in the 90thminute.
WWU played a pair of redshirt freshman goalkeepers in the preseason opener, with Thomas Ewert (Vancouver, WA/Skyview) allowing one goal in the first half and Brandon Wolter (Vancouver, WA/Union) allowing a pair of second-half goals.
Overall the Vikings played 22 players, including 10 newcomers (3 redshirt freshman, 5 freshman, 2 transfers). Freshman midfielder Gus Diehl (Bellingham, WA/Sehome) and junior forward Ryan Schaefer (Burien, WA/Kennedy Catholic/Univ. of Denver) are both newcomers that started for Western.
The Vikings wrap up the preseason next Saturday (Aug. 25) hosting the University of Puget Sound at 7 pm at Harrington Field in an exhibition game. The 2018 regular season opens the following week with a Northern California road trip to face Sonoma State (Aug. 30) and Chico State (Sept. 1). WWU’s home opener is Sept. 11 vs. the University of Hawai'i-Hilo at Harrington Field (7 pm).
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