No. 1 Spartans and NO. 10 Thunderbirds end scoreless

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September 7, 2013, VANCOUVERThe chances were slim in the first top 10 match of the season as the No. 1 ranked and defending CIS women’s soccer champion Trinity Western University Spartans tied the No. 10 University of British Columbia Saturday evening in Vancouver, B.C.

“It is a disappointing result in the end, but all credit to UBC they defended very well,” commented TWU head coach Graham Roxburgh. “We were unfortunate to not get on the board in the first half and we had a little more life and intelligence in the second half. But chances were few and far between for both teams.”

“We had a few chances late and almost stole it, but it was not to be and in the end it was a good hotly contested game to start the Canada West season.”

The game on David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium featured the regular season debut of UBC head coach Andrea Neil, who returned to her alma mater after one of the greatest playing careers in Canadian soccer history.

Trinity Western had a slight edge in the run of play but UBC, led by goalkeeper Alyssa Williamson (Langley, BC) and newly converted centre back Taryn Lim (Richmond, BC). was impressive in holding the Spartans’ attack at bay.

UBC’s best chance came in the 57th minute when Shayla Chorney (Vancouver), positioned at the top of the penalty area, headed a pass high and wide of the Trinity Western net.

The visitors from Langley, B.C. had two glorious chances, one at the end of each half, to get on the scoreboard.

While the Thunderbirds controlled the latter half of the first 45 minutes, the Spartans broke through the UBC defence just before halftime as 2012 Canada West Rookie of the Year Krista Gommeringer (Calgary) headed a ball off the woodwork.

She was streaking towards the net to the goalkeeper’s right and headed a cross at a sharp angle past Williamson, but the ball bounced along the goal line and eventually off post on the goalie’s left side.

Williamson managed to recover and gather possession of the loose ball to end off the first half.

Then with the last shot of the game, midfielder Vanessa Kovacs (North Delta, B.C.) knocked a ball over the crossbar to ensure both teams would leave the pitch with a season-opening point.

Williamson made one save in the game while Trinity Western fifth year goalkeeper Rachel Bedek (London, Ont.) stopped two UBC shots, both in the first half.

Both teams had two corner kicks, while Trinity Western held a 6-5 advantage in shots towards the net after UBC outshot TWU 4-1 in the first half.

UBC’s next game will take place on Friday, Sept. 13, when the Thunderbirds (0-0-1) host the Fraser Valley University Cascades at 5 p.m. The T-Birds will then host the University of Victoria Vikes on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

Trinity Western (0-0-1) will face the Vikes on Friday before travelling to Chilliwack, B.C. for a game on Saturday against Fraser Valley.

Match Notes: today’s match marked the first time that the Spartans had three Canada West Rookie of the Year award winners (Nikki Wright 2008, Alicia Tesan 2009, and Krista Gommeringer 2012) on the field in a Canada West match…Last season the Spartans defeated the T-Birds 3-0 in their lone match-up…

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.