Both teams came into Saturday’s match knowing that a win was absolutely essential to keep playoff hopes alive for the season. As a result, there was a lot of aggression exhibited by both teams early on in the match. 12 minutes into the match UBC midfielder Austin Jones (2nd year, Vernon, BC) converted a goal-scoring opportunity to put the Heat squad up 1-0. Just two minutes later Quest forward Mawuena Mallett (2nd year, Vancouver, BC) had a goal-scoring opportunity of his own after a beautiful through pass, but UBC goalkeeper Spencer Brown (5th year, Kelowna, BC) denied him.
The Kermodes continued to pressure the Heat on offense, and forward Ben MacGregor (3rd year, Shetland Island, Scotland) thought he’d finally earned his squad a goal 34 minutes into the half, but he was just a few steps offside and thus the goal did not count. The Heat defense was a little shaky, but they held their ground during the first half. At 40 minutes in Heat defender Dylan Abbott (1st year, Salmon Arm, BC) fired a nice free kick from the top of the 18, but Quest goalkeeper Lucas Menz (3rd year, North Vancouver, BC) made the save. Just before halftime the Kermodes got an excellent scoring chance after a scramble in front of the Heat net, but UBC goalkeeper Spencer Brown came up with a big save to shut the Quest offense down.
At just two minutes into the second half Heat forward Andrew Pinguelo (1st year, Vancouver, BC) received a nice through ball to the top right of the 18, and from there he sniped a low shot past the keeper to the bottom left to put the Heat up 2-0. Just five minutes later Heat defender Ernesto Rosario (1st year, Burnaby, BC) received a pass back and fired a shot just wide of the Kermodes goal. From this point on Quest brought their offense up to another level, keeping possession in the UBC end of the field for a majority of the 2nd half. At the 69 minute mark the Heat’s Andrew Pinguelo made a brilliant cross to forward Andrew Hauser (1st year, Salmon Arm, BC), but Quest goalkeeper Lucas Menz made another big save to keep his team in the game. More chances came for the Kermodes, including a nice cross off a corner kick at 78 minutes that prompted Spencer Brown to jump above everyone to make the grab and clear the ball to safety. With just five minutes to go in the match a Heat giveaway at the top of the box gave Kermodes midfielder Daniel Klein (1st year, Nelson, BC) an uninhibited shot that ended up just wide of the net. The Heat maintained control of the ball from then until the final whistle blew, giving them the 2-0 victory.
Heat forward Zach Donaldson-Hall (4th year, Kamloops, BC) voiced his thoughts on the game. “We played well early on, utilizing the wings and controlling the midfield. Andrew Pinguelo and Andrew Hauser both did very well up front. We had to battle defensively near the end, but overall it was a good game and a good result.”
Head coach Dante Zanatta shared similar sentiments. “I’m happy that we held our lead; we know that they’re very organized offensively. The turning point of the match was Spencer Brown’s save at the end of the first half. We were slow in the first half, but the second half went much better. We hope to keep going in that direction.”
The Heat take on the Langara Falcons at 2:00 P.M. at Nonis Sports Field in the final home game of the regular season.
GAME NOTES: When asked about their Sunday matchup versus the Langara Falcons, there was a consensus on their approach. “We don’t know exactly what to expect,” confessed Donaldson-Hall. “We need the same intensity and mindset as today.”
“We need to come with the right mindset,” echoed Zanatta. “They’re lower in the standings but we need to come prepared with the right attitude.”
The Falcons did the Heat a huge favour by dropping Thompson Rivers University 2-1 today temporarily putting the Heat in sole possession of second place. (The Capilano VIU score not reported at time of release.)