KELOWNA, B.C. – It was a back and forth affair at Nonis Field, with the UBC Okanagan Heat and Kwantlen Eagles playing to a 1-1 draw in the first action of the season for both school’s mens soccer squads.
Second year forward Andrew Pinguelo (Vancouver, BC) notched the Heat’s lone goal in the 50th minute, while Kwantlen answered back in the 64th minute off a penalty kick taken by sophomore Eagle forward Murtada Almatrood.
With the Eagles pressuring the Heat defense in the second half, a deep throw-in led to a hand ball in the penalty area by freshman defender David Yesaya (North York, ON). Almatrood put the penalty kick beyond Heat goalkeeper Logan Ellis’ (1st year, Calgary, AB) outstretched hands to balance the score at one apiece.
“Today was a learning process in how to run a game,” said Head Coach Dante Zanatta. “They were playing a high line and we had to work on bringing our forwards back.” The Heat were called offside 13 times in Saturday’s matchup to stymie the Heat’s offensive rhythm.
In the dying minutes of the game Kwantlen was pressing offensively, hitting the crossbar once and in their efforts forcing Logan Ellis to stand on his head to keep the game knotted at 1-1 through regulation time.
“At times today we were running without the thought process and forcing the game,” added Zanatta. “We just need to be a little more smart.”
The Heat will host the Douglas College Royals at Nonis Field on September 9th, while the Kwantlen Eagles will travel to Kamloops to face the WolfPack from Thompson Rivers University. Both games are slated for 2 p.m.