T-Birds Advance to Canada West Men’s Soccer Championship

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UBC Thunderbirds

November 3, 2012, Edmonton, AB – The UBC Thunderbirds men’s soccer team booked a trip to the Canada West championship match, as well as one of two berths to the CIS championship, thanks to a 3-0 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday morning at Foote Field in Edmonton.

UBC will make their second consecutive appearance in the Canada West final after finishing with the conference silver medal in 2011. They will meet either the host University of Alberta Golden Bears or the Trinity Western University Spartans at 1:15 pm MT on Sunday. Saskatchewan will play the loser of the Alberta Trinity match for conference bronze on Sunday at 11:00 am MT.

The Thunderbirds got goals from Gregory Smith, Marco Visintin and Kent O’Connor, while UBC goalie Richard Meister made just one stop in the win.

Saskatchewan goalie Mark Diakiw made four stops in the Huskies’ goal.

The Huskies had a great opportunity to score early in the contest, when, just minutes into the match, 2012 Canada West First Team All-Star Brett Levis split the T-Birds defence, but pushed his shot on goal just wide of the net.

UBC, which finished first in the Pacific division of Canada West, opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Smth, a fourth-year from North Vancouver, got his head on a cross from Milad Mehrabi, and directed the ball past Diakiw.

Ten minutes later they doubled their lead when Visitin beat Diakiw to send UBC into the half-time break with a 2-0 lead.

Neither side generated much in the way of chances in the second, but the one chance UBC did generate, they converted on when Sean Hayley and O’Connor broke in on a two-on-one in the 78th minute. Hayley fed the ball, across the crease, to O’Connor who slipped it into the corner of the net for the 3-0 finish.

UBC will play in the championship match on Sunday at 1:15 pm MT against either Alberta or Trinity Western, while the Huskies will face the loser of the second semi-final for conference bronze on Sunday at 11:00 am.

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