Saturday, October 29th, 2016
Chase Office Field, Langley, BC
SCORING 1 2 FINAL UBC Okanagan (0-1-0) 0 0 0 Trinity Western (1-0-0) 2 1 3
LANGLEY, British Columbia – For the first time since their entry into the Canada West the Heat women’s soccer team competed in their first Pacific Division Play-In. With tough competition on the natural turf at Chase Office Field in Langley this Saturday afternoon the Heat were defeated (3-0) to the top seed in the Pacific Division, Trinity Western.
Coming off an undefeated season, the top-seeded Spartans were the heavy favourites coming into the game and they looked the part in their playoff opener as Nicole Bolder (Calgary) and Isabella Di Trocchio (Burnaby, B.C.) scored three minutes apart in the first half and Kathleen Chin (Calgary) tallied late in the second half to pace TWU to the win over UBC Okanagan the playoff newcomer.
Bolder opened the scoring in the 20th minute before Di Trocchio doubled TWU’s lead in the 23rd minute. Chin, who hadn’t played since Sept. 10 due to injury, came on as a substitution late in the second half and scored in the 87th minute.
Playing in their first ever Canada West playoff game, the Heat were held to just two shots on goal, while goalie Chloe Ainsworth made three saves for UBCO. Ally Williamson (Langley) made two saves to earn the clean sheet for the Spartans.
With only two shots on net for the Heat in today’s competition, the closest attempts at a goal came in the second half from fourth year Devon Fleming and second year Lindsay Berthelsen. With a shot in front of the net, Fleming was the first of only two shots taken that made it into the hands of Trinity Western’s goalkeeper Ally Williamson.
With the first shot deflected by Williamson in the 59:19 minute, Berthelsen was quick to attack after taking her shot just eight seconds later. With a quick shot on the net, Berthelsen shot was denied and Williamson’s scoresheet was kept perfect for today’s Play-In.
“It was a tricky game because they’re a decent team and they’re very organized and defended us very well,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “I think they probably set out to frustrate us early on, which they did. It took a couple of good runs and intelligent moves and then a scrappy goal to get us going. But we’ve been working on our finishing and Nicole had a fantastic finish at the back post. That probably settled us down and the second goal, which was a great goal, really settled us down.”
The Spartans will now host the Canada West Final 6 next week, starting Thursday, at Chase Office Field. By virtue of being the top seed in the Pacific Division, TWU receives a bye directly into Saturday’s semifinal at 1 p.m. (PT).
TWU nearly opened the scoring in the fourth minute when Amy Gartke (Edmonton) had a chance from 10 yards out, but her blast was stopped by a diving Ainsworth.
Bolder sparked the TWU offence when she buried a rebound from 15 yards out. Seina Kashima (Burnaby) started the play breaking down the left side before sending the ball into the box. Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) took the first crack on goal, but while her attempt was blocked, the ball landed right at the foot of Bolder, who slotted it to the low left corner.
Three minutes later, Di Trocchio headed home a Lindsey Pulice (Burnaby) cross off the right wing to put the Spartans firmly in the lead.
The Spartans largely held possession throughout the match, but the Heat and goalie Ainsworth did well to keep TWU off the board the rest of the way.
UBCO pushed to get back into the game late, but the Spartans back line held the Heat without a clear-cut chance.
In the waning moments, Di Trocchio took the ball around UBCO’s keeper and slipped it into the middle of the six-yard box to a wide open Chin, who tapped it into an open net.
With the UBC Okanagan women’s soccer team’s season coming to an end, the Heat finish their first season with head coach Craig Smith and finish with their best record to date since entering Canada West.
The Kelowna squad have finished their 2016-17 campaign with a total of four wins, nine losses, and one tie. With the (4-9-1) record the Heat were able to claim sixth place in the PacificDivision and give them their first ever entry into the playoffs.
Game Notes: This is the 13th straight year TWU has qualified for the Canada West playoffs…TWU has won seven of the last 12 Canada West titles…in their regular season meeting this year, TWU beat UBCO 3-0 on the road…TWU had an 18-5 edge in shots and 12 corners to the Heat’s one.
~ With notes from Mark Janzen