LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western women’s soccer team improved its winning streak to nine games and, with a 4-2 win over Fraser Valley Friday at Rogers Field, clinched first place in the Pacific Division.
Playing in her final regular season game of her Spartans career, fifth-year Jessica King (Liverpool, England) led the way as she scored her 11th and 12th goals of the season and, for the seventh time this year, tallied the game-winner. The Spartans improved to 10-0-1 and, having earned first place in the division will host the Canada West Final Four if they are to advance past the quarter-finals.
The Cascades fell to 7-2-2 and will now need a win over Victoria Saturday to earn a home playoff date in the quarter-finals.
The Pacific Division quarter-finals will feature the Spartans hosting UBC on Oct. 24 and Victoria playing Fraser Valley. A Vikes win or tie will earn Victoria home field advantage for the quarter-finals.
Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.) scored TWU’s first goal of the night and added an assist on King’s first marker and Krista Gommeringer (Calgary) scored the Spartans fourth to round out the home side’s scoring.
Fraser Valley’s Shelby Beck scored both goals for the Cascades.
Beck opened the scoring in the 19th minute, but the Spartans responded with three goals before halftime. Beck tallied early in the second half, but that was it for the Cascades offence. In the 80th minute, Gommeringer salted away the Spartans win and dashed any hopes for a UFV comeback.
Spartans goalie Christina Oliverio (Calgary) made two saves in the win while UFV’s Kayla Klim stopped five of the nine shots she faced.
“I’m a bit relieved because it got a little bit tricky in the second half when we gave away a sloppy goal, but give full credit to our girls,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “I’m really pleased. We did what we set out to do tonight and that was win the division. I thought Jess King tonight was at a different level. Her goals were special. But also give credit to (UFV) because they worked really hard and they defend very well.
“We’re happy with clinching the division. Now we have to start preparing for the playoffs.”
TWU had the better share of possession early on, but it was UFV’s Beck opening the scoring.
Against the run of play in the 19th minute, Beck took a Tristan Corneil over the top pass and forced it past a hard-charging Oliverio and just across the line.
However, the Spartans replied less than six minutes later when Kashima found King on a cross near the back post and the first-year striker slotted it home to the short side from eight yards out.
Five minutes after that, King got her first of the night when her and Kashima reversed roles. King took a Kashima cross in the box and rifled it home from close range.
In the 35th minute, King got her second goal of the night, scoring what would prove to be the game-winner. Taking a pass from Vanessa Kovacs (North Delta, B.C.), King stepped in off the left wing and ripped a curling cracker from the top of the box that found its way just inside the right post.
Early in the second half, Beck scored in the 48th minute on a long range shot that went off the hands of a leaping Oliverio and into the back of the net.
However, the Spartans held off the Cascades the rest of the way and in the 80th minute, Gommeringer rounded out the scoring as she took a pass from Alessandra Oliverio (Calgary) and chipped it over Klim and into the right corner.
The Spartans finish the regular season Sunday when they travel to play UBC at noon. The Cascades are off to Victoria for a match against the Vikes Saturday at 5 p.m.
Game Notes: It was Senior Appreciation Night for the Spartans and graduating seniors Jenn Castillo (Surrey, B.C.), Jenna Di Nunzio (North Delta, B.C.), Kristen Santema (Coquitlam, B.C.), Sarah Hannigan and King were honoured…King was the only player assessed a card as she was given a yellow card in the 23rd minute.