Bittersweet day for UBC Okanagan as they honour five key players in the building of a Canada West playoff team on Sunday.
Sunday, October 18th, 2015
Nonis Sports Field, Kelowna, BC
SCORING 1 2 FINAL UBC (9-0-1) 4 2 6 UBC Okanagan (3-5-4) 0 0 0
KELOWNA, BC - There was little doubt why the UBC Thunderbirds are undefeated and the No. 2 ranked team in the nation after Sunday's Canada West men’s soccer match in Kelowna.
Sean Einarsson scored a pair of goals and Gagan Dosanjh scored one and assisted two others in just the first half, demonstrating the firepower of a team with national championship aspirations, as the Heat were shutout (6-0) on the Nonis Sports Field by the visiting T-Birds early Sunday evening.
With the loss the season closes on UBC Okanagan who have their bye upcoming and finish with a (3-5-4) record and can do no better than in fifth place with 13 points in their 12 games. The Heat are unable to enjoy a return engagement to the post season, which coincidentally came against this UBC team. [Read about the graduating players]
The visitors scored their first goal in the 13th minute when a lofted ball from star forward Gagan Dosanjh was met by a shot from midfielder Lucas Reis to the bottom right corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
The Thunderbirds’ pressure paid off once again in the 17th minute of the game when defender Chris Serban’s pass was finished off by forward Dosanjh who scored his fifth goal of the season.
It was Dosanjh once again, he was all over the Kelowna pitch, and was instrumental in creating the third goal when his pass resulted in midfielder Sean Einarsson scoring his seventh goal of the season.
Einarsson scored again before the half, Einarsson's two goals move him into a tie for second in the Canada West scoring race with nine on the year.
The Heat may have been a bit shell shocked in the first half with the UBC offense, but that was not indicative of how the Heat have been playing coming into the match, the Heat were unbeaten since these two last met in September, winning two and playing to a draw in three. When UBC Okanagan played in Vancouver they were seconds away from gaining a draw versus the Thunderbirds but surrendered a goal in the extra time to allow UBC to keep their winning streak alive.
The intermission seemed to settle the Heat who may have been a bit more emotional than usual with a ceremony honouring the five graduating players before the match. Harrison Shrimpton, Brandon McCallum and Logan Ellis all played in their final match, while two others including captain Manny Straith and forward Jorden Leib were honoured, the latter two were kept out of the lineup due to injuries.
The second half saw UBC Okanagan cut down on the UBC opportunities but the Heat found very few themselves as the Thunderbirds’ defense would not yield and maintained a decent amount of possession, their strong pursuit forced a Heat shutout, only allowing them to take four shots on goal.
A small slip in the UBC Okanagan defense in the back 45 was all it took for the No.2 ‘Birds to attack and make it hurt.
In the 67th minute midfielder Jules Chopin curved in a brilliant free kick from distance past a diving Logan Ellis who was beaten all hands up. Chopin’s free kick was his second goal of the season.
The Thunderbirds scored within a minute of restart in the 68th minute when rookie Luke Griffin pounced on defensive error and finished it into the bottom corner for his second goal of the game.
The Thunderbirds have one more weekend of play as they try and finish the conference season undefeated when they host the Trinity Western Spartans and the Fraser Valley Cascades in their final two games. UBC will take on the Spartans on Friday, October 23, before facing the Cascades on Saturday, October 24. Both games are set for 7 p.m. kickoffs at Thunderbird Stadium.
~ Nimai Trivedi // Heat communications
The home crowd at the Nonis turf on Sunday got a chance to honour five of their veteran players and UBC Okanagan athletic trailblazers who have finished their post secondary athletics careers through either graduation or completion of their eligibility.
Logan Ellis (K, Calgary, AB), Jorden Leib (F, Bellingham, WA), Brandon McCallum (FB, Yorkton, SK), Harrison Shrimpton (D, Squamish, BC), and Donald (Manny) Straith (MID, Victoria, BC) will hang up the cleats and put away the blue and gold of the Heat after today.
- a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School in Calgary and will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree
- in 2013/14 with Logan recorded 3 shutouts in a single season
- combined his schooling (human kinetics) and his willingness to work and work hard to train and prepare for every game or throughout the off season
Q and A with Logan:
How was your last Heat season? I don’t know, I guess over all we’re a little disappointed based off last season’s results but we’re a young team and I think a lot of the guys learned a lot and they all came to together. I think next year will be a lot better so I guess it’s just kind of a stepping stone into next year so that's okay, but results wise we would of like to win and go to playoffs.
Best Heat memory? Probably my second season, second game we kept a shout out and I had two or three saves that were pretty point blank. I think I saved penalty so that was probably one of my better games. [It was a 2-0 win over Capilano]
Do you have any certain saves that you remember? I don’t know, there was one, I can’t remember who it was against [maybe Kwantlen or Langara] it was here and it was top corner. It was just kind of reaction, those are the best when it’s big and your stretching [full out] and its going top corner. Like the ones that look good in photos. Those ones are probably the best ones, but I can’t really remember them all. I remember all the goals that went in but I can’t remember all the saves.
How would you round up your career as a Heat player? Lot of friend’s, lot of family. I learned a lot. Coming through [as a university athlete] you take on more of a leadership role. [Through this process] I learned more about myself and what I want, and what I expect soccer wise and how to view the game.
- a graduate of Squalicum High School in Bellingham, WA. and played with the UFV Cascades for one season before transferring to UBC Okanagan
- graduated in the spring of 2015 with a degree in the Bachelor of Management
- scored eight goals in his UBCO career. He had 3 goals and 3 assists in 2013/14 in the Heat's first in the CIS
- for the Heat he was a player who is seen by opponents as a danger every time the Heat attacks. Whether he is running at defenders with his pace and quick feet, being involved with the set up or simply acting as a decoy that cannot be left alone, every team must be aware of him while he is on the pitch
- worked hard to develop as a complete player that has paid off making him a very good two-way player who rarely leaves the field, and an inspiration to watch compete
- strong work in the classroom has also paid off with recognition as a provincial academic excellence
How would you describe your last Heat season? I didn’t score as much as I wanted too, but I think where you could see that being a failure in some ways [I don't]. I think I was a lot more confident on the ball. I had fun but I hurt my knee and [being injured] has been consistently [a problem] since last year [when] I hurt my shoulder. I played through with my shoulder dislocated a ton and I had to get surgery at the end [of the 2013/14 season]. Now to blow my knee out halfway through the season [was disappointing]. I’ll probably have to get surgery, [so] it kind of didn’t end the way I wanted it too. But the plus is I had fun.
Best Memory as a Heat player? I don’t think I have a best memory [on the field], I think I’ll just wrap it up and say going on trips with the guys, to be a part of a team, to have a big group of guys you can hangout with all the time. I think my favourite part, across all five years, was probably 20 mins before training when you show up to practice and you just talk with everyone and kick the ball around, you know.....banter.
How would you describe your career as a Heat player? I’d say the biggest thing that is that I grew as a person, you kind of become more mature and work a lot harder, people depend on you...I’ll just say I took it as it was [and being a member of the UBC Okanagan Heat] was just fun for me, soccer’s fun I always thought it was a game, yeah I had fun.
- a graduate of Yorkton Regional High School in Yorkton Saskatchewan and will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics
- scored his first and only career goal in Victoria on Sept. 25, 2015 to start a comeback versus the Vikes
- as a defender he was never afraid to sacrifice himself for the greater good of the team and he loved to join the attack
- is a student of the game and and consistently came to the pitch dedicated to improving himself and grow as a player
- Played for the prestigious Yorkton United Football Club
How was your last season? Oh this season, this season was a roller coaster, we went from preseason going undefeated in 7 games and feeling really good going in to season. Then had a bad start, but midway through we turned it around and we went about a month undefeated, from when we played UBC last to today. The guys worked really hard [and] we were hoping to get in playoffs once again unfortunately bad bounces. [We] tied games [when] we should have won. Lost games we should of tied, things like that so what can you do.
Best Heat Memory? Oh yikes, well on the field I’d say best memory for sure was last year our first year in CIS in the top division and we made playoffs in our first year. Nobody expected us, we were expected to finish last actually in the conference and that was really huge for us. [That was the] best memory on the field, off the field there’s just to many to keep count. Preseason trips every year [when you] spend a week with the guys there’s always a new group coming in and getting to know all the players, it’s just super good times. [As] an example, this year we went to Whistler and just had a day out there with the whole team, got to know each other really [well]. Good times.
Where do you think the Soccer program is going to go from here? Every year the program has been getting stronger and stronger [with] more recruits, new recruits want to come here, making our team better for the future. Dante? and Tom have done a good job creating a basis for the program and I think we’ll be a power house in Canada West for the next few years and it’s going to be fun to watch, watch the guys play.
How would you describe being a part of the Heat for five years? Well I started as a walk on so [I didn't have] to high of hopes. I came in out of nowhere and just made the team, surprised [everybody]. I red shirted the first year and ever since then I started playing more and more, and in the last couple years I’ve been a starter for the team so it’s rounding it up. Hard work, that’s all it took; you keep wanting to practice every day, and do your best, and it pays off.
- a graduate of Whistler Secondary and will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree
- a walk-on five years ago and by his sheer determination and willingness to learn and apply himself, carved out an outstanding career
- one of the hardest workers on and off the pitch to ever play for the Heat. A very focused individual who has improved greatly during his time with us, he leads by example through his professionalism and punctuality and has set a great example to which new players should aspire
- never missed a game in his five year career. Played in 64 matches for UBC Okanagan. 60 regular season and 4 in the post season. Started all 25 Canada West matches.
How was your last season with the Heat? I think it was great. There was a lot of positives to take from it. Obviously we had a lot of young talent join us, it was a lot of fun. A couple of the guys on the team who have been here for the past five years with me, it was great to go through this last season with them. We did really well throughout the season and we had a lot of positives to take from it. It was great to be a part of it.
Best Heat memory? Best memory would probably be making playoffs last year in the first year of CIS it was huge no one really expected much of us and we were able to persevere get the ones we needed to do and then being able to get that playoff game, and have everyone really excited around us it was a lot of fun.
How would you describe being part of the heat for five years? Five years.... to many memories to count, a lot of fun, enjoyed every second with these boys and I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.
- a graduate of Oak Bay High School in Victoria and will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts
- went Go Global last winter and spent a semester in Spain
- a play-making midfielder he scored one goal in his career. Played in 57 matches for UBC Okanagan
- Was a provincial all-star a team captain and voted his team's MVP, most dedicated and earned a provincial academic excellence award.
- very active in the HAC (Heat Athletic Council)
How was your last season with the Heat? It was good for the most part we kind of put ourselves in a tough position we lost and tied those games at the beginning of the year. Other then today we went five games in a row undefeated, and I thought we played a lot better football after those [early matches] after [those matches] we started to get better so that was good, in that aspect.
Best Heat memory? Best memory with the Heat, I don’t know if I have one, best moment, I think actually a victory against [Trinity Western] sorry, TRU two years ago at home, we beat them in the 90th minute and I scored the first goal in that game so I think that was one of the better moments yeah. [Link].
What did you gain most playing soccer these five years? I think [the ages of] 18 to 23 there are obviously very key developing years I it was great to have a leadership role on the team and have been given the faith by a lot of players and get the trust in the coaches. I think that [leadership role I was given], and the confidence with the coaches and players was [a big part] of my development.
How would you describe being a part of the Heat for five years? It was fantastic. I enjoyed [ it] most of the time, [other than] obviously, if we didn’t have good games. But most of the guys that I have played [with] over the years always wanted to get better, and always wanted to learn. [We all were there] just trying to succeed and make sure every practice and game that we were trying to do the right thing.