The men’s soccer team continued their pre-season training schedule by completing a west coast swing from August 24-26 against a variety of powerhouse opponents. The team will be making the jump to Canada West competition next season and hopes to learn and improve as much as it can in its outings versus such teams.
On Saturday the men took to the pitch to kick off the first of the friendlies against the Vancouver Metro Soccer League’s Langley team. The Heat played a tight contest against the Langley club and wound up with a 2-2 tie. Sophomore midfielder Darrell Plantz (Aldergrove, BC) and rookie Logan Abbott (Salmon Arm, BC) each netted a point for the UBC Okanagan Heat.
Sunday the team knotted another tie south of the border while visiting the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Third-year midfielder Austin Jones (Vernon, BC) was the lone scorer for the Heat in the outing.
With a campus-to-campus rivalry already established between the volleyball and basketball squads for each of UBC’s campuses, the men’s soccer team is already ready to join the fun, and got their crack on Monday when the Heat took on the defending CIS men’s champion Thunderbirds at Thunderbird Stadium on Monday night.
Despite a quick start for the T-Birds, Rookie Enzo Paal (Coldstream, BC) scored a 1-1 tying goal at the 15-minute mark. Down 3-1 going into the second half, both teams liberally utilized their substitutions. Ultimately, the T-Birds would score at the end of the period for a 4-1 victory.
Heat coach Dante Zanatta was pleased with his group’s performance, particularly against the Thunderbirds. The team hopes to take the lessons learned over the weekend into the regular season, which they open at home next weekend.
Saturday, September 7 at 3 p.m. the Heat’s first game will be against the 2012 national silver medalists, the Vancouver Island Mariners. Sunday the 8th at 2 p.m. the Heat will host the Capilano Blues. All of the home games for Heat soccer are played at the Nonis Sports Field on UBC’s Okanagan campus.