Despite loss, Heat men still in contention for playoffs

okanagan heat

October 19, 2103, KELOWNA, B.C. (ISN) – A disappointing 2-0 loss for the UBC Okanagan Heat men’s soccer team to the Langara Falcons Saturday at the Nonis Sports Field did not end the team’s playoff aspirations and they will have a chance to qualify for postseason play tomorrow in their final regular season game.

Currently tied for the fourth and final playoff spot with the Vancouver Island Mariners, the Heat received a reprise today as the Mariners fell to the Kwantlen Eagles 1-0 in Surrey, keeping both teams at an identical record. However, the Mariners are still up on the Heat in the head-to-head tiebreaker, meaning that the Heat must win tomorrow and the Mariners must tie or lose. The Heat could also play to a draw and still qualify if the Mariners lose on Sunday.

The scoreboard watching begins Sunday at 2 p.m. in Kelowna the Heat take on the winless Quest Kermodes at 2 p.m. at Nonis Field, and in Coquitlam the visiting Mariners will face the third place Douglas College Royals for the fourth and final berth to the PACWEST provincial championships.

The four-team championship will be hosted by Vancouver Island University on October 26-27 at the Nanaimo Turf Field.

Langara’s impressive size on their backline caused all sorts of problems for UBC Okanagan on Saturday; the Heat could not get quality shots on goal for much of the 90 minutes.

“We had a couple of chances early in the game, which we didn’t finish and didn’t do well on,” observed Heat head coach Dante Zanatta. “I didn’t think we played with the right urgency for a team that’s fighting for a playoff spot.”

And although the Heat stalled a number of Langara’s offensive efforts early on in the match, the Heat would soon after concede a goal in the 16th minute to Langara midfielder Jordan Gilles (2nd year, Richmond, BC) on a defensive giveaway. UBC Okanagan was never quite able to recover, allowing one more goal in the 40th minute to Langara defender Arved Poetter (3rd year, Germany), who used his 6-foot five frame to clear space as he headed the ball past Heat keeper Logan Ellis (2nd year, Calgary, BC) off a corner kick.

Playoff Outlook

The Vancouver Island Mariners are currently tied with the Heat at 18 points apiece. Next weekend the Heat will play the winless and eighth-seeded Kermodes, and the second-seeded Falcons. The Mariners, meanwhile, will play the KPU Eagles (7) and the Royals (1), respectively, with both matches on the road.

In the event of a tie with VIU, the tiebreaker will be determined by the following procedure:

a) The record between the two teams (VIU holds the advantage with a 4-2 win at Nonis Field in September. They played to a 1-1 draw in Nanaimo.)

b) the team with the most league wins

c) the team with the least league losses

d) the team with the best goals for/against ratio for all league games (subtract the goals against from the goals for, the higher number wins)

e) A playoff game to be played at a neutral site