Men’s Soccer (PACWEST Conference play)
UBC Okanagan Heat (6-5-3) vs. Quest University Kermodes (0-10-3)
|Goals by period||1||2||Tot|
|UBC Okanagan Heat||3||2||5|
HEAT SCORING SUMMARY:
1. UBCO Enzo Paal (7)
2. UBCO Enzo Paal (8)
3. UBCO Dylan Abbott (3)
4. UBCO Jorden Leib (4)
5. UBCO Enzo Paal (9)
KELOWNA, B.C. - An awareness that a win would not necessarily send them into the playoffs the Heat men’s soccer team concentrated on what they could control—the outcome of today’s game—an eventual 5-2 victory over the Quest Kermodes on Sunday at Nonis Sports Field.
Unfortunately, the Vancouver Island Mariners did what they needed to do with a 4-0 win over Douglas in Coquitlam, and ended the Heat’s season today by grabbing g the fourth and final berth to the PACWEST provincial championships.
“It sucks,” Heat coach Dante said bluntly immediately following the match when it was confirmed that VIU dispatched Douglas 4-0. “Right now, it’s very disappointing … We should have been in this weekend [having] clinched a playoff spot and not being worried about it.”
The Heat came out and played their hearts out, laying it all out on the turf in the first half, going up to a quick 3-0 lead, and then heading into halftime up 3-1. Heat forward Enzo Paal (Coldstream, BC), who finished with a hat trick, was first on the board for the game, notching both his goals within the first 20 minutes of play for the early lead.
Third-year forward Dylan Abbott (Salmon Arm, BC) would get the third Heat marker in the first half after beating his defender and getting an open look to the left side.
In the second half Quest, searching for their first victory on the year, brought the game to within one at 3-2, yet third-year midfielder Jorden Leib (Bellingham, WA) scorched the net for his fourth off the season on a scramble in front of the Kermodes net that would push the score to 4-2 for the Heat in the second half not long before Paal’s third.
“But the future’s bright," Zanatta commented. "We only lose Kennedy [Hindley (5th year, Vancouver, BC)], who is a fullback, [but] we’ll keep recruiting."
The future he refers to rests largely in a group of young players as well as the core of the squad, all of whom are expected to return for next season.
“When we came up this was a five-year plan, and this is year three,” Zanatta continued. “You’re seeing now the fruit is starting to show.”
The Heat’s 2013 season is now at a close, but the team will take its next big step next season when they join their basketball and volleyball counterparts in Canada West competition for the first time. Stay tuned for news on recruitments and other things Heat soccer here at goheat.ca.
Looking forward to Canada West
Zanatta emphasized that “the future is bright,” for the men’s soccer program at UBC Okanagan. On what the biggest things he thinks the team needs to learn before foraying into CIS-level competition, coach had this to say:
“Really, with us, it’s that you have to finish your chances. We create chances, but going into next year in the CIS, the game is going to be faster, players are bigger and stronger, and then when we create chances we have to be more clinical around the goal. We let in too many overall too. Overall we need to become a little better at everything. And I think the base and the foundation is there in some of the players. They just have to get accustomed to the pace and those other aspects. Overall, Tom [Flanagan, Assistant Coach] and I need to get better too.”
Zanatta has repeatedly commented on what he calls “immaturity” in football for the team. “They’re a good group of guys,” he said. “They work hard and they try the right things, do things the right way. They’re young and they’re going to make mistakes.”
He has added that the core of the team has only been together for a couple of years, and looks forward to the fourth year of the team being together.
“Lucas [Krivak (1st year, Port Moody, BC)] was very good today, and Enzo’s done well,” he said, beginning to speak of some of the younger players on the team, “but you see we need to get physically stronger to compete [at the Canada West level]. But we’ll put them on a strength and conditioning program.”
All in all, Zanatta is confident that the team and program is heading in the right direction. “If you look over three years from where we were from a program that was never competing at anything, [we got] a bronze [provincial] medal in our first year, to now where we compete against the best teams in the league. The program’s taking strides, and I think the program’s going in the right direction.”
HEAT NOTES … Paal was the only Heat player for both soccer teams to record a hat trick this year. The day’s tally also pushed him to nine goals for the season - tops on the Heat, and top three in the PACWEST.