Heat capture bronze medal

In the men’s PACWEST soccer final the UBC Okanagan Heat jumped out to a three to nothing lead and held on the 3-2 win over the UNBC Timberwolves to take home the PACWEST bronze medal on Sunday.

This is the first provincial medal in men’s soccer since the school rejoined the league in 1992. The Heat improved from 2-9-1 in the previous season to provincial medalists in Dante Zanatta’s first year as head coach.

This was the last year in the PACWEST league for the Timberwolves as they will jump into the Canada West with their soccer programs in September of 2012.

UBC Okanagan forward Zach Donaldson-Hall (4th year, Kamloops, BC) scored on a bullet of a shot after a scramble to put the Heat up quickly 1-0.

Shortly after Zach’s goal, Heat first year player Andrew Pinguelo (forward, Vancouver, BC) sent a cross to forward Andrew Hauser (1st year, Salmon Arm, BC), who easily finished on the chance with the keeper caught out of position.

The Heat kept up the pressure on UNBC and again the ball found Hauser’s foot on a rebound on a low shot that the UNBC keeper was unable to secure. Hauser’s second goal of the game put the Heat up 3-0 less than 30 minutes into the match.

UNBC was undaunted down despite being down three. With lots of time left in the game the Timberwolves increased the offensive pressure on the Heat. The Timberwolves had a good chance shooting just over the cross bar, and Heat keeper Spencer Brown (5th year, West Kelowna, BC) mishandled another Timberwolves chance, but the Heat weathered the storm.

UNBC midfielder Kellen Strobl (3rd year, Prince George, BC) came down the right side and got off a good shot that Brown got a piece of, but not enough as the Timberwolves get on the board to make the score 3-1 before half time.

In the second half the Timberwolves kept up the pressure, forcing Spencer Brown to make a handful of clutch saves to preserve the Heat’s two goal cushion.

In his final game for the Heat, forward Thomas Simkins (5th year, West Kelowna, BC) looked to add to his all time total at the school as he just missed finishing on a brilliant cross from Donaldson-Hall.

UNBC was able to get within one goal late in the game as defender Scott DeBianchi (5th year, Prince George, BC) hit a great shot, scoring on a ball from well outside the penalty area. Fortunately for the Heat, time ran out before the Timberwolves could tie the game up. UBC Okanagan wins PACWEST provincial bronze, 3-2.

All time leading Heat career goal scorer Thomas Simkins wrapped up his career at UBC Okanagan and was pleased the way it ended.

"It's nice to have some success in my last year of eligibility. The program is heading in the right direction with Dante and Tom at the helm. I've made some great friends that will probably be friends for the rest of my life. It's really helped school go by."

The Timberwolves finish their last PACWEST season with a (6-4-2) record and a fourth place finish at the championship.

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