Heat fall to NAIT in second match on Saturday 3-2

Alexa Kennedy (Photo by Rob Brown)

The NAIT Ooks took down the Heat 3-2 Saturday afternoon as UBC Okanagan for the first time this season played a game or practice on a grass pitch this season. The Heat found it tough to adjust to the slower surface, NAIT however was quite at home and knocked the ball around very well leaving the Heat scrambling. The Ooks struck twice early in the first half, first a goal was scored in the 10th minute and then quickly again at the 15 minute mark. The Ooks star striker twice was able to slip behind the Heat defense and clinically finished her opportunities, the score remained 2-0 as the half closed out.

The Heat worked hard to sort out some organizational issues in the second half but NAIT again found the back of the goal for the third time just five minutes into the second half.   Although it is early in the season this UBC Okanagan team is not the kind of team that will roll over, the Heat battled back creating a series of chances as they peppered shots inside the Ooks 18 yard box. After many such chances the Heat's star striker, Alexa Kennedy was  finally able to connect on one as she pounced on a rebound a buried it in the back of the net putting the Heat on the score board in the 56th minute. The Heat continued to battle and their efforts were rewarded as Alexa was pulled down in the box and awarded a penalty kick.  'Lex stepped up to the plate and slotted the ball home for her second goal of the match in the 70th minute.  The Ooks trying to hang on to the lead as they were definitely feeling the heat, UBC Okanagan narrowly missed tying up the game at 3 when Kennedy again was in the middle of a scoring opportunity. Alexa  had the goal keeper beat with her shot that and then Tess Perry was unable to tap in a redirection on the rebound as she came racing in.  At the final whistle the Ooks held onto their leading winning 3-2

Head coach Claire Paterson added that "we were a bit disorganized in the first half and NAIT came out flying. It was a hard fought game as both teams got stuck in and battled but we just didn't get ourselves sorted out early enough. We have to start working towards taking control of matches earlier and being sharper in our first half of play."

This game was played a mere two hours after the morning match and as such it gave the first year players a chance to play a lot of minutes, these players impressed teammate and All Canadian Alexa Kennedy as she said "Unfortunately, we came out flat in the first half but showed a lot of character to fight back in the second half and almost got all the way.  We had the majority of first years on the field for this match and they stepped it up showing they can compete at this level."

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