Shaun Pilcher has been a stalwart on the UBC Okanagan backline in this just his first year. Pilcher and the other defenders limited TRU to just 2 shots in 90 minutes. (Contributed by Snuchins)
In control of their destiny, needing a win to get in the postseason, UBC Okanagan waited 93 minutes before scoring the game winner on TRU to clinch victory and a playoff berth.
Men’s Soccer (Canada West Conference play)
UBC Okanagan (5-5-1) vs. Thompson Rivers (2-8-1) Goals by period 1 2 - Tot UBC Okanagan........ 0 1 - 1 Thompson Rivers..... 0 0 - 0
GOAL Time/Team Goal Scorer Assists 1. 90:00 - UBCO Enzo Paal (4) Austin Jones
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The UBC Okanagan Heat men’s soccer team started celebrating a trip to the Canada West postseason just minutes after Enzo Paal scored the game winner in extra time versus the Thompson Rivers WolfPack on Saturday afternoon at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops.
With Paal’s goal the Heat won their fifth of the year dropping TRU by a 1-0 score. UBC Okanagan’s 6-foot five’s keeper handled both of the WolfPack’s shots for his third shutout of the season. Forward Austin Jones (Vernon, BC), one of four graduating players on UBC Okanagan assisted Paal’s marker.
The winning goal was scored when the WolfPack turned the ball over and Jones capitalized and slid it over to the sophomore forward from Coldstream, BC and Paal deftly beat WolfPack keeper Travis Froehlich (4th year, Revelstoke, BC) to the lower right side of the net.
With the win UBC Okanagan’s record improves to five wins, five losses and a tie, 16 points and fourth place in the Pacific Division in Canada West. Trinity Western and Thompson Rivers were eliminated from the post season with UBC Okanagan’s victory on Saturday.
UBC Okanagan had 20 shots in the contest and seemed to dominate the time of possession, especially in the first half that led to 12 of their 20 shots in the first 45 minutes. Froehlich made five saves while Heat keeper Christopher Cuthill (2nd year, Delta, BC) made two.
The loss dropped TRU’s record to two wins, eight losses and a tie and on Sunday the two teams will conclude their inaugural Canada West regular seasons on Sunday (Oct 19) in Kelowna, BC. On the Nonis Sports Field on the UBC Okanagan campus. Kick off at 2 p.m. following a ceremony to honour the graduating UBC Okanagan players:
The Heat will honor their two fifth year players: Jones and Joe Gill (defender, Abbotsford, BC) and also fourth year’s Dylan Abbott and Nick Kmet.
The match on Saturday was the final one at home for Jacob Kaay, a 6’2” midfielder from Kamloops, BC.
PLAYOFF MATCHUP: The Heat are not locked into first place with a win Sunday they will finish the 12 game season with 19 points to draw even with Fraser Valley, who lost on Saturday to Victoria, 3-1.
UBC Okanagan defeated the Cascades twice this season and would jump into third place in the standings and play the Victoria Vikes instead of the defending national champion UBC Thunderbirds. In either situation the Heat will play in a Canada West playoff game in their first year in the league on the road next weekend.
HEAT NOTES: Jones, Paal and Froehlich spent this summer as teammates playing for the Kamloops Heat of the Pacific Coast Soccer League Premier Division.
~ With notes from Larry Read (TRU Sports Information)