By Lee Dorner
September 29, 2012, VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds picked up their third straight clean sheet with a 4-0 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies in CIS Women’s Soccer action on Friday night at Thunderbird Stadium.
Taryn Lim had two goals and Janine Frazao scored one and set up two others to highlight a strong attacking effort, and All-Canadian fifth-year defender Kelly Cook anchored the ‘Birds to a shutout in her first home game of the season.
The sides were deadlocked for much of the first half, with both teams seeing most of their possessions fizzle out in the middle of the park against tight defence.
It took a Huskies miscue to break the drought and open the scoring in the 22nd minute. Keeper Lisa Evans’ intended pass to one of her defenders was intercepted by Rachel Ramsden just outside the 18 yard box. Ramsden passed over to Taryn Lim wide open in the middle of the 18 and she slotted it home before the defence could react.
That goal opened things up for UBC, and Lim struck again soon after, though most of the work was already done for her on this one. Janine Frazao picked up a through-pass at the side of the six-yard box with only the keeper between her and the goal. She side-stepped Evans to gain space and tried to force a shot through at a tough angle. Evans got a piece but the ball still squirted through to rest on the goal line for Lim to clean up.
UBC grabbed one more before the half was up in similar fashion to their second goal. Jordan Kitagawa lobbed a ball in behind the defensive line for Frazao to turn on to, and she managed to shield the ball well enough to get an open shot off in the box. Again Evans got a piece but this time it wasn’t enough to deny Frazao her first goal since opening weekend.
“I thought we had a cracking game,” said UBC head coach Mark Rogers. “Things aren’t easy and Saskatchewan isn’t just going to give it to you. The first 20 minutes you have to earn the right to play the game and I thought we did that. They made a mistake and we punished them for it, and the opportunities then came as they got desperate to equalize. That goal to make it 3-0 at half was a real killer.”
Frazao looked to have a second goal early in the second half, when she was fighting for a breakaway with Erica Parenteau down the middle of the field. She chipped the ball up over a charging keeper and appeared to have a clear path to tap it in, but Parenteau got back and just got enough of a touch to clear the ball off the line.
The ‘Birds did grab a fourth before the final whistle though. A long UBC pass fooled a Saskatchewan defender in the 78th minute and got past her, leaving Frazao and Nicole Sydor in on goal all alone for UBC. Frazao’s initial shot was partially saved but Sydor was there to clean it up for a 4-0 final score.
“Every player that put on a white shirt today had a great impact on the game. That was the best game we’ve played this season,” said Rogers.
Alyssa Williamson got the clean sheet in net for the T-Birds, having to make just one save behind her defensive group of Alisha Penev, Jordan Kitagawa, Meghan Pasternak, and of course Cook, who has led UBC to shutouts in all three games she’s played in so far this year.
“Fifth year, centre back, All-Canadian – it’s hard to replace that,” Rogers said of his star senior fullback. “Kelly Cook is one of the best leaders I’ve ever coached and those type of players are replaceable. Jordan did a great job for her when she was out but she’s obviously just slid right back in there and gives us a great calm presence at the back.”
The T-Birds improve to 5-1-0 with the win, while Saskatchewan falls to 3-2-0.
Next up for UBC is 4-1-0 Regina. They go at it on Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium, beginning at 7 p.m.