Spartans edge WLU, move onto CIS Women’s Soccer semis

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November 8, 2012, VICTORIA (CIS) – The Trinity Western Spartans defeated the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks 2-1 in the third quarter-final matchup of the CIS women’s soccer championship at Victoria’s Centennial Stadium, Thursday evening.

The Canada West champion Spartans advance to the second semifinal Friday at 7 p.m. Pacific Time against either Sherbrooke or host Victoria. A year ago, TWU lost a heartbreaker against McGill in the first round, 1-0 on kicks, en route to a sixth-place finish.

“Our finishing wasn’t as sharp as it could have been but full credit to them as they kept going all the way until the very end,” said Spartans head coach Graham Roxburgh. “Anytime you get to this level it’s going to be competitive. It’s never going to be easy. They are a very good team.”

The Spartans were goal hungry from the starting whistle but missed an open net in the first minute of play. Canada West rookie of the year Krista Gommeringer of Calgary swarmed the Golden Hawks’ net in the eighth minute only to watch her header sail wide.

Jessica King of Liverpool, England, put the Spartans on the scoreboard in the 20th minute with an assist from Stephanie Chin of Calgary and the Spartans kept up the pressure throughout the first half with creative runs by forward Alicia Tesan of Vancouver.

The second half started the way the first one ended with Gommeringer getting behind the Hawks’ defence to find herself alone in front of the net, only to be thwarted by goalie Katrina Ward of Surrey, B.C., on a point blank shot.

The Spartans were rewarded for their constant pressure when Jennifer Castillo of Surrey finished off a corner kick in the 67th minute with an assist credited to Tessa Meyer, also of Surrey.

The Hawks made the game interesting in the 78th minute when Amanda Mithrush of Thunder Bay, Ont., belted a shot over the outstretched fingers of first-team all-Canadian keeper Kristen Funk of Calgary from outside the 18-yard box. It was Mithrush’s first goal since 2010, when she scored four times as a rookie. The goal seemed to spark the Hawks as for the first time in the game, the Spartans felt the pressure.

“I think the first half we played in awe of them a bit,” claimed Laurier head coach Barry MacLean. “I thought we were competing but we were nervous. In the second half I thought it was more even and we played very well but all credit to Trinity Western. They have so many pieces that fit well together.”

The OUA finalist Golden Hawks are relegated to the consolation round for the second straight year. They will meet the loser of the Victoria-Sherbrooke quarter-final Friday at 1:30 p.m.

NOTE: The consolation semifinals on Friday will be re-located from Field 2 to Centennial Stadium. All semifinal games will be at Centennial Stadium.

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