The Heat women are gearing up for their last college league tour before making the jump to Canada West in 2014. Visiting Mount Royal in Calgary for the Alberta Cup on August 24 was the team’s first crack at Canada West competition in 2013 where they came away with a 1-2 result.
The women squared off with the University of Alberta first, where coach Claire Paterson was proud to “see some second year players’ step up their [performances].” Caitlin “CJ” Murchie (second-year, Calgary, AB) netted the Heat a goal off of a cross from Lana Finley (third-year, Kelowna, BC) that she volleyed top shelf. Struggles to beat Alberta’s keeper would result in a 4-1 victory for Alberta.
Next up was Lethbridge, which was a back-and-forth first half with plenty of scoring opportunities for the Heat that just would not go. A 0-0 first half would turn into a 2-0 win as the Heat figured out Lethbridge’s defense. Second-year midfielder Mairi Horth (Ladysmith, BC) and fourth-year forward Lindsey Briggs (Delta, BC) were the goal getters for the Heat down the stretch. Midfielder Michelle Smith (Vernon, BC) played the full 90 minutes as keeper for the shutout.
The host, Mount Royal, would be last for the Heat, with Paterson opting to try different player combos as the bench was shortened due to the injury and fatigue. “[It was] a bit disjointed/scrambled,” Paterson said of the match. “Third match in two days, the team was pretty tired. The majority of the game was played in the midfield third.” A 3-0 victory for the Cougars would cap off the tourney for the Heat.
The Heat will continue preparing for their final PACWEST and CCAA tour, travelling for one last exhibition weekend August 29-31 in the Lower Mainland.
After two straight provincial silvers the Heat will begin their quest towards a national championship appearance this fall as the team is hungry for the chance to prove themselves before making the jump to the big leagues.
Heat soccer kicks off the regular season at home versus the Vancouver Island Mariners on Saturday, September 7th with the women to begin play at 1 p.m. The action will take place at the Nonis Sports Field on UBC’s Okanagan campus.
Heat notes…The Heat’s keepers, including provincial all-star, Christine Tallon (4th year, Kamloops, BC) were injured for the Alberta Cup. Midfielder Michelle Smith (Vernon, BC) was asked to do the heavy lifting in net, which also caused a shuffle for the other players as well…Tallon is expected to be ready for the season opener.