Okanagan Heat’s Kirsten Dodds the PACWEST Athlete of the Week

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October 17, 2012, Kelowna, BC – Second year Okanagan Heat forward Kirsten Dodds was an absolute terror for the opposition this past weekend in two crucial UBC Okanagan matches, as she led the Heat to a pair of wins and securing the team a spot in the provincial championships. For her efforts, she has been named the PACWEST Athlete of the Week.

With just two weekends of play left in the tightly contested PACWEST women’s soccer division, the battle for placement has begun. With an opportunity to stay on pace with Thompson Rivers University and Langara, the UBC Okanagan Heat would have to come up with a big performance from the team and from individuals.

On Saturday versus the then second place Langara Falcons, the Heat sitting in third place, needed a win to firmly entrench themselves in the top four spots. The last time the two teams met, it ended in a 2-2 draw in Burnaby, Sept. 13. Now on home turf, UBCO would take advantage of that. The game was a battle from start to finish but UBC Okanagan was unable to score for much of the game. The Heat finally scored in the 65th minute to take a 1-0 lead. It was late in the second half when Dodds’ effort drew enough attention that she was able to cross the ball to her teammate, Lindsey Briggs, who scored the insurance goal the Heat needed to secure the victory. The 2-0 victory put the Heat one point ahead of Langara after Saturday’s games.

Heading into Sunday’s fixtures, there were only 6 points separating the top 4 teams. With TRU losing to Quest in an upset the night before, the separation had TRU at 23 points, UBCO at 20, Langara at 19 and Quest at 17. Sunday’s matches across the league proved to be just as important as Saturdays. Squamish’s Quest University came to town fresh off their 1-0 victory over TRU. On paper, this game looked to be another tightly contested battle. However, Dodds had other ideas. In the sixth minute the Quest defenders were unable to deal with her tenacity and skill in the attacking third and was forced to take her down in the box. Hayley Carlson buried the ensuing penalty kick and gave the Heat an early lead. Quest was able to tie the game before the break, but early in the second half, Dodds made her way past two separate Quest defenders and the keeper to score the second goal of the game. With the sheer amount of skill and effort required scoring that highlight reel go-ahead goal, it inspired her team to victory. UBCO would score a third to take the game 3-1, but more importantly, secure another 3 points.

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