TWU Women’s Soccer Faces Big Test Against UBC

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September 13, 2012, LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 3 Trinity Western women’s soccer team resumes its Canada West regular season schedule when it hosts No. 8 UBC Saturday. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. at Rogers Field and can be seen live on www.canadawest.tv.

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (2-0-0)

CIS ranking: No. 3

Canada West position: 1st

Last weekend: Lethbridge 6-0 W, Calgary 6-1 W

Streak: 2 wins
2011 Canada West record: 12-1-1, 1st

2011 Canada West tournament: 2-0, 1st

2011 CIS tournament: 1-2, 6th

The Spartans women couldn’t have asked for a better start to their 2012 Canada West campaign. With first-year forward and Canada West Female Athlete of the Week Krista Gommeringer (Calgary) scoring in the third minute of the Spartans home opener, the tone was set for a weekend in which Trinity Western scored 12 goals in two decisive victories.

Gommeringer and teammate Jenna Di Nunzio (North Delta, B.C.) each scored four goals by the end of the weekend while Jessica King (Liverpool, England) added two and both Alessandra Oliverio (Calgary) and Nikki Byrne (Langley, B.C.) notched singles in what was 180 straight minutes of Trinity Western dominated soccer.

This week, however, will likely be a different story.

With No. 8 ranked UBC coming to Langley, the Spartans will have their hands full against the only team that took points from Trinity Western all of last regular season. The Spartans lost 1-0 to the Thunderbirds on opening night at home last year and then played to a 1-1 draw on the road later in the season. Add to that the fact Trinity Western hasn’t beaten UBC at Rogers Field since 2009 and the Spartans will have plenty of motivation heading into a match featuring two of the best in Canada West.

From the back line out to the forwards, the Spartans were consistently fluid throughout their first two contests of the year but, with UBC in town this weekend, Saturday’s game will be Trinity Western’s first true litmus test of the season.

BRITISH COLUMBIA THUNDERBIRDS (2-0-0)

CIS ranking: No. 8

Canada West position: 1st

Last weekend: Calgary 5-1 W, Lethbridge 4-0 W

Streak: 2 wins
2011 Canada West record: 11-1-2, 2nd

2011 Canada West tournament: 1-1, 3rd

2011 CIS tournament: N/A

Much like the Spartans, the UBC Thunderbirds first real test of the season will be Saturday at Rogers Field as the Thunderbirds were also very impressive in their opening matches, as they ousted Calgary 5-1 and Lethbridge 4-0.

The Thunderbirds come to Trinity Western having not lost at Rogers Field in three years, a run that includes a 1-0 win last year in the Spartans home-opener. The last time UBC lost to Trinity Western in Langley was back on Sept. 26, 2009 when they fell 2-0.

And, while the Thunderbirds are now playing without graduated starters Diane Rizzardo, Natalie Hirayama and Lisa Furutani, there’s no doubt this UBC side will once again be at or near the top of the Canada West standings and certainly looking to keep their run of success at Rogers Field alive.

Looking to build on a season where they won bronze at the Canada West Final Four, for this Thunderbirds team, it all begins on defence. Last year UBC had a league record 11 shutouts in 14 regular season games and, with one clean sheet already this year, the Thunderbirds are well on their way to another solid defensive year.

Canada West Rookie of the Year Alyssa Williamson is back in net, as are veteran defenders Jordan Kitagawa and Alisha Penev, the latter of which was a Canada West Second Team All-Star.

In the midfield Rachel Ramsden, one of two fifth-year seniors on the roster, returns while highly-touted rookie Madison Guy is expected to make an immediate impact in the middle of the park.

Up front, UBC is led by Canada West Player of the Year Janine Frazao, who scored 16 goals in just 14 games last year. She is joined up front by Rachael Sawer, who was seventh in league scoring last year, and Taryn Lim.

Through two games this year, Frazao and Lim each have three goals while Sawer has one.

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