Octover 12, 2013, LANGLEY, British Columbia – With a first-half goal from Carlos del Aguila (Langley, B.C.), the Trinity Western men’s soccer team earned its second shutout win in as many nights as the Spartans knocked off Winnipeg 1-0 Saturday at Rogers Field.
After a 1-0 win over Mount Royal Friday, the Spartans (3-6-1) sought its first winning streak of the year and with a staunch defensive effort did just that. Trinity Western has now picked up clean sheets in three of its last four outings, while Winnipeg (3-6-3) has lost two in a row after entering the weekend on a four-game undefeated streak.
Del Aguila got the Spartans on the board in the 12th minute when he took a Jarvis Ambaka (Maragoli, Kenya) cross in the box and looped at quick shot over Winnipeg goalie Tyson Farago.
While the Spartans outshot Winnipeg 18-5 and had a 7-3 edge in shots on target, the Wesmen defensive line had a pair of timely off-the-line clears and Farago did well on the back end to keep the match tight throughout.
Winnipeg had a late push, but was unable to generate much in the way of quality scoring chances.
Farago finished with six saves while second-year TWU goalie Andrew Hicks (Surrey, B.C.) stopped three attempts as he picked up his third shutout of the season.
“I thought it was a great character win,” said Spartans coach Pat Rohla. “Once again I think some of the issues that we had were of our own doing. I think we should have done more with our possession, particularly in the first half and we really lacked connecting passes through that final third.
“Having said that, I thought we did a lot of good things. We were brave and we had good Spartan spirit. We’ve been asking these guys to bring this type of game and they did. It’s one of those situations where we’re doing everything but putting the ball in the onion bag. I’d be really nervous if the chances weren’t there, but they were. It’s a sign that the team is alive and positive and I’m actually very proud of the way they’ve responded in the last couple of weeks.”
After some early Spartans possession, the home side was rewarded in the 12th minute when del Aguila potted his third goal of the season. After taking the cross in the box from the left flank, del Aguila put a soft shot on net that caught Farago out of position and found the top left corner.
The Spartans nearly doubled their lead in the 20th minute as Ambaka had a shot cleared off the line by a Winnipeg defender. Then just over a minute later, Ambaka had a shot that thumped off the crossbar.
Winnipeg had some close calls in the first half, notably a Kenny Sacramento attempt in the 15th minute and an Adam Bromley offering in the 35th minute, but on both occasions the Spartans Hicks was there to make the save.
Sacramento had another chance in the 25th minute from 20 yards out, but he sailed his shot just over the crossbar.
In the second half, the Spartans pressed early, but were stymied on a number of occasions from in close.
Five minutes in, Jerome Lou (Surrey, B.C.) had a clear look at the target from six yards out and cracked a shot that was goal-bound, but Winnipeg defender Kristjan Nordman was there to thwart the attempt as he cleared the ball off the line.
Just two minutes after that, del Aguila had a chance from 20 yards out, but he sent his shot over the crossbar.
From there, it was relatively back and forth, with both teams playing an urgent style, but neither putting a ton of pressure on goal.
The Wesmen pushed for the equalizer over the final 10 minutes, but couldn’t find their way through a solid TWU back line.
Sacramento had the lone second half shot on net for Winnipeg as he took a rip from 25 yards out, but Hicks was again there to gobble up the attempt.
The Spartans are back at home next weekend when they play UNBC twice Oct. 18-19. Both games are at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live at twu.canadawest.tv.
Winnipeg will travel to Alberta to take on the Golden Bears Oct. 19-20. Both games are at 2 p.m.
Game Notes: The Spartans Brayden Gant (Maple Ridge, B.C.) was the lone player to be booked as he was shown a yellow card in the 31st minute.