UNB Advances To CIS Semi-Finals

UNB Advances To CIS Semi-Finals

(VAUGHAN, ON) The UNB Varsity Reds scored goals in the 86th and 89th minute, earning a dramatic 3-2 victory over the University of Victoria Vikes, in quarter-final play at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s soccer championship.

“It could’ve been anyone in that spot, it just happened to be me this time,” said midfielder Ken Van Aarle, of his winning goal. “It’s just such a great feeling to put your team ahead, knowing that all the guys are behind you.”

The St. Andrews, NB, native said even as full time approached, the Varsity Reds remained confident. “2-1 behind, with two minutes left, we’re like, no, it’s not going to end like this, this is not what we’ve been working for so hard and you could just see it in everyone’s eyes.”

Van Aarle’s goal game as many of the 30-40 UNB fans in attendance were still celebrating Ben Gorringe’s tying goal.

The first-year midfielder spent much of the game trying to keep Victoria’s Cam Hundal in check. Hundal was named the CIS player of the year, on Wednesday night.

“I was fortunate to have a touch and a bounce and fortunate to put it on the right side of the keeper,” said Gorringe, who was named UNB’s player of the game.

“I had faith in the guys the whole time. I knew we were pressing and I knew we were going to get something. It was just a matter of time before we got what we were working for.”

From the opening whistle, the Varsity Reds controlled the play. Much of the action was in Victoria’s end.

Despite that, in only their third push down field, the Vikes scored first. Hundal set up Michael Baart, who beat Brandon Eagle to give the Canada West finalists a 1-0 lead.

It looked as though Victoria might take that lead to the half, but Robbie Park had different plans.

Park headed a ball into the UVic net in the dying seconds of added time in the first half.

Park may have had extra motivation today, as his father and grandfather were in the stands, having just arrived in Canada, from their home in Scotland.

Craig Gorman re-established the Vikes’ lead in the 68th minute, setting the table for UNB’s late rally.

Varsity Reds’ head coach Miles Pinsent was all smiles after the win, but says coming from behind is something his team actually practices. “We do a thing called the ten minute drill and it’s just that game scenario right there. We’re down a goal and we need one,” said Pinsent. “We just modify the way we play, a little bit, and that’s just kind of the rallying cry, ten minute drill.”

The Varsity Reds now face the University of Quebec at Montreal Citadins in the semi-finals. UQAM beat the McMaster University Marauders, in a game that required penalty kicks.

The semi-final match is scheduled to start at 11:00AM Eastern, noon Atlantic, on Saturday.