The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s soccer team trekked to Alberta again this past weekend as the team was entered in an exhibition tournament hosted by the University of Lethbridge. Saturday morning the Heat locked horns versus the host team the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and with only a few short hours of recovery were back on the field battling the NAIT Ooks. Sunday morning UBC Okanagan faced the Lethbridge College Kodiaks and then headed home.
The Heat started out slowly versus the home team but their backline held after giving up a goal in the first ten minutes of the game. The Heat managed to claw back a goal when the team's lone fourth year player, Emma Nixon shook off two U of L players and slotted the ball to full back Jennifer Kidd (JK) who drove a 35 yard shot past the Pronghorns keeper to even the score in the 16th minute. The game remained deadlocked until the Heat were able to push the go ahead goal in the last minute of play as Alexa Kennedy made her great run count. At the final whistle the Heat took down the host University of Lethbridge 2-1.
A few hours later the Heat dragged themselves back on the field to face the NAIT Ooks . 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 and allowed the Ooks to score two early goals. After those two quick goals the Heat never recovered as the game ended up 3-2. Alexa Kennedy scored first for the Heat 56 minutes into the match and she struck again in the 70th minute.
Sunday was a dreary cool morning when the Heat stepped onto the field in their final match of the University of Lethbridge tournament. Determined to learn lessons from the previous match the Heat turned it up and came out strong right as the ball was dropped. UBC Okanagan created several early opportunities and then in the 11th minute Alexa Kennedy netted her first of two goals in the match. Her second marker came in the second half, but not until Emma Nixon netted two goals of her own, one in the first half and another at the 48 minute mark. With the score 4-0 the Heat kept pressing as did Nixon and Kennedy to determine who would get the golden boot for the game. Alexa and Emma combined to score one more goal yet it is still being disputed who gets credit for the marker as the scorer was unable to determine if Kennedy's initial shot went in before Nixon tapped it across the line.
"It was a good tournament that provided our freshman players lots of minutes to gain experience. Now our next step is to recover from some of the bumps and bruises we picked up and get healthy for the start of league play." said a pleased Claire Paterson
The Heat will host two exhibition games this weekend as King's University College from Edmonton will battle the Heat Saturday September 4th at noon and Sunday September 5th at 10am.
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.