The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s soccer team got on the bus early Friday morning and headed to Tacoma to play three US schools in three days. On Friday night the Heat did battle the University of St. Martin’s in Tacoma, Saturday the Heat locked horns with the University of the Puget Sound. Sunday morning UBC Okanagan played against the Lutes from Pacific Lutheran University before heading back to Kelowna.
In a beautiful setting on a Friday evening in the Puget Sound the Heat took the field against the St. Martin’s University Saints. Although the Saints provided a great field to play on and a bunch of people in the stands the Heat were unable to create many chances as the fell to the Saints 2-0.
Saturday afternoon the Heat laced up the boots against the University of Puget Sound Loggers again the field conditions couldn’t have been better but the injury bug really started to hit the Heat forcing the team to set players in different formations. Despite this the Heat were able to score three goals, all coming in the second half as Lars Seitzinger notched the first marker for the Heat in the 53rd minute. Greg Karogiannis followed up with a goal of his own in the 62nd minute and freshman Nick Kmet added the third marker at the 78 minute mark. Unfortunately for the UBC Okanagan three goals were not enough as Loggers blasted six goals to fall the Heat 6-3.
Sunday’s game came early in the morning for the banged up Heat, as the team took in the Seattle Sounders match versus the Chicago Fire of the MLS Soccer league on Saturday night. With many of the projected starters unable to play meaningful minutes the Heat used every player on the roster to battle the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes. The Heat fought hard but fell 4-3, Zach Hall notched a goal in the 35th minute and mid-fielder Lars Seitzinger did everything he could with two goals, one in the first half at the 40th minute and the second coming in the 55th minute.
Although the Heat came away without a victory the coaches thought this was a positive trip for a couple of reasons. “I am disappointed in the fact that we went all the way to the US and we were unable to come away with a victory but this weekend was a great weekend of soccer,” claimed coach Justin Boersma. “ The fields in that area are outstanding and because the schools down there start this week the crowds were sizable, on top of that with the opportunity to watch Soccer at such a high level at the Sounders game was an excellent bonus. I think the guys now realize from watching that game how hard they have to work to play at the university level. You watch those professional players they are so fast and they never take a play off. The second reason this trip was a good one was unexpected-but a good thing. With the number of injuries to our regulars we got to see a lot of good things from a number of players whom we didn’t expect to see the field much this season. I think that bodes well for competition as starting jobs will be battled for during practices now.”
The Heat will finish up their exhibition schedule this Thursday night as they host a Kelowna men’s league select team.
The Heat’s first home games will be Saturday September 18 women at 1:00pm men at 3:00pm as they host the Quest University Kermodes. On Sunday September 18 the Heat host the Vancouver Island University Mariners September 19 women at 11:00am men at 1:00pm.