Spartans Edge Cascades To Earn First Win

trinity western_spartans1

Mark Janzen

September 15, 2013, Langley, BC (ISN) – Thanks to first half goals from Krista Gommeringer (Calgary) and Alessandra Oliverio (Calgary), the No. 1 ranked Trinity Western women’s soccer (1-1-1) earned its first win of the season by a 2-1 count over Fraser Valley (1-1-1) Saturday at Rogers Field.

After something of a lackluster opening 20 minutes, the Spartans finally broke through in the 28th minute as Gommeringer tapped in her first goal of the year to give TWU its first lead of the year.

Just over five minutes later, in the 33rd minute, Oliverio doubled the Spartans advantage, tallying what proved to be the game-winner when she converted from 10 yards out after she one-timed a pass from Natalie Boyd (Surrey, B.C.).

The Cascades got on the board late in stoppage time when Lana Rockhill connected on a header off a corner, but there was no time left to make a surge for a second.

After falling to Victoria 2-1 Friday night, the Spartans played a much more composed contest and, after a bit of a slow start, put together a solid effort to get the win. With the victory, the Spartans also avoided the dubious distinction of being the first TWU women’s soccer team to go winless through the first three games of a season.

The Spartans outshot Fraser Valley 21-10 and had 10 shots on target to the Cascades four.

Fraser Valley’s Kayla Klim made eight saves in the loss while TWU’s Rachel Bedek (London, Ont.) stopped three shots to capture her first win as a Spartan.

“I actually thought we started quite tentatively,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “UFV made it very difficult for us for the first 15 minutes, but then our nerves settled down after we scored.

“We passed well tonight, which was a positive for us. It didn’t ever really feel like we would get threatened by them unless we made a mistake ourselves. Credit to our team that we rose from the loss last night, but we still have to get better.”

After a less than inspiring start to the game, the Spartans got things rolling with Gommeringer’s 28th minute goal. Spartans fullback Lindsey Pulice (Burnaby, B.C.) sent a well-struck cross into the box from the left wing that bounced off Jessica King (Liverpool, England) and fell free just a few feet off the goal line. And Gommeringer, in the right place at the right time, found it and buried it.

“I think scoring early in the first half really helped us,” Boyd said. “That obviously changes the momentum of games so that was exciting to score first.”

Then, in the 33rd minute, Boyd made a sublime weaving run through several Cascades defenders from near midfield into the box but, with a wall of defenders in front of her, she dished off to Oliverio, who slammed the ball home. Cascades goalie Klim did well to get a piece of Oliverio’s shot, but it wasn’t enough.

“Our second goal was a really nice goal,” Roxburgh said. “I thought Nat (Boyd) was fantastic in midfield and (Vanessa) Kovacs (North Delta, B.C.) was a bedrock back there as well.”

In the second half, the Spartans dictated the run of play and, up until the final 10 minutes never looked vulnerable.

Down the stretch, UFV started to press, which proved effective as a sitting back Spartans side suddenly found itself on its heels. The Cascades had a couple of close calls in the box before finally breaking TWU’s goose egg when a Paige Friesen cross found an unmarked Rockhill in the box and the Cascades defender finished well.

“I’m disappointed that they scored so late in injury time,” Roxburgh said. “It spoiled a clean sheet and a very good defensive performance in a game that probably ran longer than it should have.”

The Spartans next weekend has them on the road against Saskatchewan Sept. 21 and Regina Sept. 22. Fraser Valley will also be on the road as it will play Alberta Sept. 21 and Mount Royal Sept. 22.

Game Notes: TWU had a 5-1 edge in corners…UFV’s Dayle Jaras and Amanda Carruthers were each shown yellow cards while TWU’s Natalie Boyd also saw yellow.

Scott Harrigan
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