For the first action of the season the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s soccer team scrimmaged with some old PACWEST foes in Vancouver and came away with a draw and a win.
On Saturday the Heat and the CCAA bronze medalists from 2013, the Douglas College Royals battled to a 1-1 draw and on Sunday UBC Okanagan dismissed the Langara Falcons by a score of 2-1.
Head coach and recently anointed National ‘A’ License coach Dante Zanatta liked what he saw with the team’s first road trip.
“I’m happy with the weekend. The two training games worked well. It gave all players a chance to play and a chance for the coaches to see what they can do.” Dante added how he was able to see how the new guys fit in, explaining that by the end of the weekend his coaching staff had a good idea on some possible lineup combinations and on what the new guys can bring in different spots.
“We played strong defensively in both games,” and coach Zanatta thought that as the weekend progressed they started to show some positive movement defensively. In the two games the only two goals given up by the Heat were off a set piece. Saturday Douglas scored on a free kick, Langara netted their only marker off of a corner.
As expected the team played better the more they logged minutes on the pitch together, Dante thought this was really reflected on offense.
“Overall the team played better on Sunday than on Saturday especially offensively, where we scored two goals but could have easily notched a few more.”
The Heat’s coaching staff played 21 players over the weekend and utilized the scrimmage aspect of the games with liberal use of the free substitutions.
“We played all players this weekend and really managed the players load, explained coach Zanatta, as he stressed that the season is just beginning and he is very conscious to “not run the kids into the ground.”
In the game against Douglas the UBC Okanagan goal was scored by third year defender Brandon McCallum (Yorkton, SA), who put away a nifty header off a corner kick.
Sunday both goals against the Langara Falcons were scored by Enzo Paal (Coldstream, BC), the second year forward continues to find the net for the Heat, he paced UBC Okanagan in 2013 with nine goals, as a freshman. His nine were also good enough for third overall in the PACWEST.
Up next the Heat will train for another full week and then head south of the border for games against Puget Sound on Sunday (Aug 24), Pacific Lutheran on Tuesday (Aug 26) and on Wednesday the 26th versus Saint Martin's (Lacey, WA).
The Canada West season will get under way for the new to CIS squad on the road in Prince George for a pair of games against the UNBC Timberwolves on Saturday and Sunday (Sep 6-7).
The first Canada West action at the Nonis Sports Field on the UBC Okanagan campus will be Friday September 12th when Zanatta and his Heat team play host to the Fraser Valley Cascades. Action begins at 7 p.m.