LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The Trinity Western women’s soccer team extended its spring season shutout streak to five games as it beat the Vancouver Whitecaps U18 Girls Elite 1-0 Tuesday at Rogers Park.
The Spartans, who are now 3-0-2 in the spring season, got a goal from Jessica King in the 42nd minute to earn a win over a young, yet talented Whitecaps side. King received a brilliant pass through the middle from Tessa Meyer and then beat the lone defender in front of her and whipped a shot low to the left corner, beating Whitecaps goalie Kayla Klim.
The Whitecaps featured Spartans recruit Lindsey Pulice, who will come to Trinity Western this fall. Pulice played the full 90 minutes at the left back position.
It was the last home game of the spring season for the Spartans as they will play their final three games on the road against Western Washington (April 9), Oregon State (April 14) and Oregon (April 15).
“It was a really competitive game and we knew that would be the case because the Whitecaps have so much talent and quality and they’re so well coached,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “I was really pleased because, after the first 15 minutes in which both teams were kind of helter-skelter, we settled down and we generated some chances.
“The game had a little bit of everything. We had to defend well and Jess King scored a fantastic goal off of a great ball by Tessa.
“I thought tonight we were maybe second best in terms of our effort in the first half but I was really pleased with the second half and I’m seeing progress from the some of the girls who didn’t play as much in the fall and they’re showing a ‘coach, don’t forget about me’ type of effort.”
The Spartans were the better team in the early stages as they possessed well and kept the Whitecaps in check for the better part of what was a little bit of a sloppy opening 15 minutes from both sides.
The early possession produced the Spartans first crack at goal in the 14th minute when Jenna Di Nunzio ripped a low drive from 25 yards out but was stopped by well-positioned Klim.
Not long after Di Nunzio’s attempt, the Whitecaps started to push back and were nearly rewarded for their efforts in the 16th minute. The Whitecaps Samantha Dion, stepping in off the right wing, ripped a shot from the top of the box that was destined for the top left corner. But it was Spartans goalie Kristen Funk who was equal to the task as she made a leaping grab to nullify the opportunity.
The Spartans next best chance early on came in the 29th minute when Trinity Western striker Nikki Wright, who had entered the game less than a minute prior, put a fine cross into the box from the right wing. The Whitecaps struggled to clear the ball and it eventually found its way to the feet of King from three yards out but her shot was blocked by a Whitecaps defender and quickly sent clear.
But it was only 13 minutes later when King, who looked dangerous all night, got the Spartans on the board with what would turn out to be the game’s only goal. The goal seemingly sparked Trinity Western as it maintained its momentum over halftime and came out in the second half with a ton of energy and was the aggressors in the early stages.
Trinity Western managed a few shots from distance but despite its pressure, was unable to convert.
With just under 20 minutes to play, the Whitecaps started to turn the game in their favour as they looked for the equaliser.
The visitors got their best chance of the second half in the 73rd minute when the Whitecaps sent a ball into the box off a corner kick and, after it bounced around the box, Lucielle Kozlov discovered the ball inside six yards but her quick shot was deflected clear by a Spartans defender.
With the Spartans on the defence late, the Whitecaps continued to make an offensive push but were never able to break through Trinity Western’s solid back line.
Game Notes – The Whitecaps Jasmine Mander was on the lone player to get booked as she received a yellow card in the 58th minute.