October 27, 2013, NANAIMO, BC (ISN) – Four the fourth straight year, and the fourth time in the six years of head coach Claire Paterson’s tenure as bench boss of the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s soccer team does the team finish the season with a provincial medal.
The Heat outscored the Langara Falcons 3-2 Sunday morning in the medal game of the 2013 PACWEST provincial soccer championships, hosted by Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC to finish with the bronze.
Although the Kelowna team, after back-to-back silver medals fell short of their goal of a provincial championship, the team felt great to finish the season with an exhilarating victory.
“We are so proud of the team. They showed great character after a tough loss and battled hard in the game against Langara,” said Ashlee Davison, who handled most of the coaching duties this weekend for an ill Paterson.
“Yes, we were unlucky in our loss to Quest,” continues Ashlee, “as we had the majority of chances, but all the girls agree that it feels good to end on a win.”
An emotional game for the Heat, as six members of the team knew before stepping on the turf that today’s game would be their last match in a Heat uniform, yet they were still able to provide the spark to propel the Heat to victory.
“Our seniors, somewhat emotional,” explained Davison, “stepped up as leaders and showed great poise and determination.
In a repeat of yesterday’s semi-final loss to Quest, the Heat found themselves down early when Langara scored two minutes in off a goofy bounce with the heavy winds the ball proved Cto be hard to judge for keeper Christine Tallon.
It took only a few minutes for junior forward Kirsten Dodds to make her presence felt as she connected in the 14th minute on an unassisted goal that came at the end of an incredible run down the side, losing three defenders in the process.
The Vernon product, Dodds, who scored a goal in each of the Heat’s two games, was named top forward of the championship for her efforts.
When told of Dodds’ award Ashlee Davison remarked that it was “well deserved” and that the third year player was “exceptional in both games” and had “the weekend of her season,” explaining that “few defenders were able to strip her of the ball.” Paterson, who only witnessed Sunday’s game, commented during the game that “Dodds was having a fantastic match.”
UBC Okanagan, as has been the case with much of their season, peppered Langara with numerous quality scoring chances, but with no finish. The game went into the break knotted at 1.
The dam finally broke for the Heat as Lindsey Briggs, who would eventually score the game winner, missed two great chances prior to her goal, lasering a ball off the post one time and cracking one that Langara’s keeper was able to just turn away.
Three-time provincial all-star, Hayley Carlson, was the benefactor of Brigg’s onslaught as she put the Heat up 2-1 with a long-range goal after a corner and a save.
Langara scored the equalizer, their second goal, on a penalty kick to tie the game up at 2, halfway through the second half.
Midfielder Mairi Horth, playing in the championship close to her home town of Ladysmith, BC, “had a break-through moment in her career,” says Davison, as she aggressively took the ball down the outside to find Briggs, whom Davison commented “had two great games” for our game winning goal. Regulation time expired shortly following Briggs goal to give the Heat the bronze medal victory, 3-2.
With their coach not 100-percent Davison was pleased with how the team captains stepped up their play as midfielder Marissa Klees (4th year, Bellingham, WA) “set the tone for the weekend with her incredible work ethic and never-say-die attitude.”
Hayley Carlson (3rd year, Red Deer, AB), the other captain, “was a force to be reckoned with for other team’s offensive players, and she was our rock at the back,” the fill-in head coach noted.
On top of the six players not returning, be it by graduation, or completion of eligibility, for the Heat, this was the last UBC Okanagan Heat soccer game in the PACWEST and also in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
Both the men’s and the women’s soccer teams from UBC’s Okanagan campus will play the 2014 season in the Canada West conference of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport).
The Thompson Rivers WolfPack was the men’s (2-1 in PK (4-3) over Douglas College) and the women’s (1-0 over Quest) champions of the PACWEST this season and will join UBC Okanagan in Canada West next fall. For the women that is the third straight provincial championship. Both will advance to the CCAA national championships in 10 days.
The Quest Kermodes won the silver medal on the women’s side, and was the best result in any sport in the school’s history.
OKANAGAN COLLEGIATE SOCCER HISTORY – Outside of these four straight medals, the only other provincial medal won by the UBC Okanagan (Okanagan College/Okanagan University College) in women’s soccer was a bronze medal in the four-team Totem League in 1981.
SCHEDULE AND RESULTS: http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/athletics/womenssoccer/results.html
HEAT SCORING SUMMARY:
1. UBCO Kirsten Dodds (2nd post-season; 6th season)
2. UBCO Hayley Carlson (1st post-season; 3rd season)
3. UBCO Lindsey Briggs (1st post-season; 2nd season)