Spartans earn win over Mount Royal in season fanale

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October 19, 2013, LANGLEY, British Columbia (ISN) – The Trinity Western women’s soccer team will enter the post-season riding a seven-game winning streak and 10-game unbeaten run after the Spartans earned a 3-1 win over Mount Royal in their regular season finale Saturday at Rogers Field.

Jenna di Nunzio (North Delta, B.C.) and Jessica King (Liverpool, England) each tallied first half goals and Krista Gommeringer (Calgary) potted a second half goal to give the Spartans (8-1-3) all they would need to close out the regular season with a win. Caitlin Specht responded for MRU with a goal in the first half.

The win ensured the Spartans will host a Canada West quarter-final match Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. The Spartans will now await the result between UBC and Alberta Saturday night to determine where they will finish in the standings and who they will play in the opening round of the playoffs.

The loss drops Mount Royal to 3-8-1 for the season and, having missed the playoffs, marks the final game of the Cougars 2013 campaign.

“I was pleased that we won,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “We didn’t play particularly well at times but sometimes you can’t win pretty. I thought we did enough to win but they made it difficult for us and showed that they’re an up and coming team.”

The Spartans opened the scoring in the 15th minute when di Nunzio won the ball off an MRU defender, raced down the left side and whipped a quick shot past MRU goalie Janelle Chicilo.

“I was really happy that Jenna was rewarded for her hard work with a goal,” Roxburgh said. “She has worked so hard to get back to where she is now, so I was pleased that she risked to win the ball and then had a fantastic finish.

However, MRU came right back just three minutes later when Navroop Virk’s shot off the left post fell to the feet of Specht, who one-timed it past TWU goalie Rachel Bedek (London, Ont.).

But the home side took their lead right back in the 25th minute when King, who was playing in place of Natalie Boyd (Surrey, B.C.), took a pass from Gommeringer and, from 20 yards out, sent it to the back of the net.

“I thought Jessica was excellent because she was playing in a different position (in central midfield) and she gave everything and I thought she was really good,” Roxburgh said. “Vanessa Kovacs (North Delta, B.C.) was our leader in terms of her battling.”

From there, TWU controlled possession for much of the rest of the first half and went into the break ahead 2-1.

In the second half, both Jennifer Castillo (Surrey, B.C.) and Alicia Tesan (Vancouver) had brilliant opportunities to put TWU up by two goals, but neither were able to put a shot past substituted goalie Kelsey Marklund.

The Cougars nearly tied the game in the 77th minute when Ashleigh Wroe sent a header just past the right post, but that was as close as MRU would get.

Less than a minute after Wroe’s opportunity and still in the 77th minute, the Spartans got the insurance tally they were seeking. Gommeringer found a loose ball at the box and ripped a shot that deflected off an MRU defender and beat Marklund to the top left corner.

Game Notes: The Spartans Caitlin Haines and the Cougars Brianna Keil were each shown yellow cards…the Spartans outshot MRU 22-5 and had an 11-4 edge in shots on target.