October 5, 2013, Kamloops, BC—The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team continues their unbeaten ways in the PACWEST.
The two time league champions improved to eight wins and a tie as they downed the visiting University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat 4-2 before about 400 fans at Hillside Stadium on Saturday (Oct 5). It was the WolfPack’s first home match in a month.
“It was a great game between two very good teams,” said WolfPack head coach Tom McManus. ” Both teams played with a lot of passion.”
The WolfPack led 1-0 after the first half on a goal from Alanna Bekkering (5th year, midfield, Kamloops, BC). The PACWEST Most Valuable Player got a through ball from Bronwyn Crawford (4th year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) and beat Heat keeper Christine Tallon (4th year, Kamloops, BC) for her ninth goal in as many matches.
It was a half which UBCO dominated and TRU was a bit tentative.
“I thought we had a fantastic first 42 minutes,” said Heat coach Claire Paterson. ” We let down for two minutes and Alanna made good on the through ball.
“We gave them too much respect for the first 20 minutes,” McManus assessed. ” We were nervous and didn’t play our game, which we did in the second half.”
The WolfPack went up 2-0 in the 55 th minute. The ball bounced off a couple of players after a corner kick by Kelsey Martin (2nd year, midfield, Kamloops BC) resulted in the ball coming out in front of the box and Marlie Rittinger (2nd year, midfield, Ashcroft, BC) got her body in front of it.
The Heat cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 64 th minute when Michelle Smith ( 3rd year, midfield, Vernon, BC) was able to solve WolfPack keeper Emily Edmundson (4th year, Kamloops, BC).
Then the onslaught of goals began. Four minutes later, it was Bekkering down the left side from a sharp angle she crossed the ball out front to Jaydene Radu (3rd year, forward, Calgary, AB). She scored her fourth goal of the season.
At the 75 th minute mark, Radu scored her second goal again—set up by Bekkering. She threaded the ball through to Katie Sparrow (3rd year, forward, Kamloops, BC). Sparrow laid the ball off to Radu who made no mistake. Radu has five goals on the year and all have been scored on a Saturday.
“Jaydene is over her sophomore jinx for sure,” McManus stated.
Off the ensuing kick off, the Heat stormed down the field and out of a scramble, Haylee Lakovic (1st year, forward, West Kelowna, BC) went up for the ball and collided with Edmundson as she scored her fourth goal in nine matches.
TRU rounded out the scoring when Rittinger sent in Martin from a sharp angle and she blasted a ball which Tallon had trouble getting a hold of. Martin now has four goals in nine matches.
Rittinger was named the McDonalds/TRU Bookstore “Leader of the Pack” player of the match. “She was phenomenal today,” said McManus. ” She was distributing the ball all over the place and got a goal. There is nothing more I could ask from her, she is a fantastic player.”
“TRU did a fantastic job of finishing the opportunities that came about, ” said Paterson . ” We struggled doing that today. It was frustrating. The wheels came off a bit for us in that second half .”
McManus felt that his team got rewarded for hard work on offense. “We have been working on cutbacks all season. Today was the first time that it worked. Both Kelsey and Alanna went right to the goal and chipped it in front. Katie Sparrow was told to go and use her speed and create some pressure and it worked.”
The Heat fall to five wins, three losses and a tie.
The two teams play the conclusion of the home and home series Sunday (Oct 6) at UBCO in Kelowna. Kick off is noon.
“They are really going to want us tomorrow,” laughed McManus. ” We had such a good game today. Both teams will rest and go hard at it again.”
THROW INS—The WolfPack had 23 shots on goal in the contest in comparison to 17 for the Heat. Bekkering had six shots in the match—four on goal, notching a goal and three assists. Radu had three shots on goal—two on net, both finding the mark.
Smith had the most shots on goal for UBCO with four. She had two on the net and had one goal.
Both teams had 12 corner kicks. Tallon was credited with 10 saves while Edmundson had five.
The WolfPack return home next Saturday (Oct 12) to host the Douglas College Royals.