Heat and WolfPack complete their respective inaugural season in Canada West and send several grads out in style.
Women’s Soccer (Canada West Conference play)
Nonis Sports Field, UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, B.C.
UBC Okanagan (1-7-4) vs. Thompson Rivers (1-10-1) Goals by period 1 2 - Tot UBC Okanagan........ 0 0 - 0 Thompson Rivers..... 0 0 - 0
KELOWNA, B.C. – Hosting their archrivals in the Thompson Rivers WolfPack for the final match of their first Canada West season, the UBC Okanagan Heat played to a 0-0 draw Sunday afternoon while sending five graduating players out on a high note.
With a long tradition between the valley nemeses, neither was about to give up ground in the final match of the season, and nothing came easy for either side. Few quality shots got off for either side into an 0-0 half.
The Heat would dominate the second half offensively, but fifth-year Kamloops keeper Emily Edmundson was on point with deft hands at every ball. She would have twenty shots on goal against her but she kept her net empty.
The 20 shots was the most saves in a single game a keeper has had to make in Canada West in 2014. Second most was 16 save, made by UBC Okanagan’s Christine Tallon (Kamloops, BC), she stopped 16 on September, 20 versus UBC.
The fifth-year keeper in for UBC Okanagan recorded her third shutout of the season, recording six saves.
The relentless second-half attack by UBC Okanagan in the second-half came from a balanced effort, as six different players had three or more shots on goal throughout the match. The Heat accumulated 32 shots total.
Lana Finley (4th year, West Kelowna, BC) had two great cracks at the goal from 30 yards out with one just over the bar and the other was tipped away by Edmundson. Courtney Hemmerling (1st year, Kelowna, BC), and Mairi Horth (3rd year, Ladysmith, BC) both with excellent chances only to see their touch just shoot wide. Susan Traynor (1st year, Calgary, AB) put four shots on net and Finley, Marissa Klees, Horth, Hemmerling, and Kirsten Dodds each with three.
The Heat wrap up their first Canada West tour with a 1-7-4 record. The WolfPack complete their inaugural league in the season with a 1-10-1 result.
This was the final University game for these five UBC Okanagan players: Hayley Carlson (D, Red Deer, AB), Kirsten Dodds (F, Vernon, BC), Paige Howes (M, Kelowna, BC), Marissa Klees (M, Bellingham, WA), and Christine Tallon (G, Kamloops, BC).
Ad theser two WolfPack players have finished their careers: eeper Emily Edmundson (Kamloops, BC) and Bronwyn Crawford (Midfield, Kamloops, BC)
Canada West soccer action will return for both teams next August when they kick off their second season in 2015.
Five seniors sent out in emotional farewell
“It’s really hard to say goodbye,” said Heat coach Claire Paterson following the match, a simple phrase that sums up the swell of emotions amongst the team as the close knit family said goodbye to Hayley Carlson (D, Red Deer, AB), Kirsten Dodds (F, Vernon, BC) Paige Howes (M, Kelowna, BC), Marissa Klees (M, Bellingham, WA), and Christine Tallon (G, Kamloops,BC).
“It’s hard because you develop a relationship with each of them, and they’re amazing people to get to work with,” Paterson went on to comment regarding the senior group. “They’re not going to be far from our hearts, and they’ll always be part of the Heat family. We want to see them out here, and whenever we’re down travelling in their area we want to be able to see them.”
Indeed, all five girls admitted that they were going to be the new “number one fans” going forward. They also all echoed each other’s sentiments about the team being a family atmosphere.
“I couldn’t ask for twenty-five girls to spend my time with,” said Carlson.
“It’s family, it’s who we are,” added Klees, who made the difficult transition to a new life across the border. “I got dropped off on campus and there was nobody around, and I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’, and then I stepped onto the field and you immediately have twenty-five sisters.”
“We’ve worked a lot for each other, and it’s a little bittersweet,” said Tallon. “[The years] went faster than I thought. It was a journey.”
It did not matter whether someone was a transfer student who was with the group for a year or two, versus someone who had been there for the long haul—the bonds were equally strong for everyone.
“Everyone welcomed me with open arms, and I never felt out of place,” said Howes, a transfer from Alberta who played one season with the Heat before suffering an injury early this year that kept her off the pitch.
Coach Paterson stressed the importance of the kinds of relationships that each of the girls has built during their time as university student athletes.
“It’s wonderful how we get to affect each other’s lives and be a part of each other’s lives for a really important part of their lives,” Paterson commented.
Careers in Review:
Paige Howes: Transferring to UBC Okanagan from Alberta after her third season to become a fourth-year starter last fall, Howes provided some much needed CIS experience and veteran leadership in the team’s final year in the CCAA. She would go on to earn an academic excellence award the same year.
The OKM grad will finish her studies towards a human kinetics degree this spring, and was unfortunately unable to be on the field with the girls after injuring her wrist on the opening weekend in Prince George cut her final season short.
“[Paige] came back [from U of A], and was not too sure about soccer,” explained Paterson. “We convinced her to come back. Her experience and abilities on the field were fantastic. I think it could have been a different season this year if she was out there with us.”
Hayley Carlson: A co-captain of the squad, Carlson will graduate with a nursing degree in just four years at the campus. Affectionately called “Biggie” by her coaches and teammates, she has been tremendous both on the pitch and in the classroom.
In each of her first three years on the squad she was a national scholar, PACWEST All-Star, and Academic All-Canadian. As a defender on the team she has five career goals, two of which came during this year’s first foray into Canada West.
“What a tremendous player and tremendous athlete, an amazing person on and off the field,” was all that Paterson could muster about Carlson.
Kirsten Dodds: Pursuing completion of her degree in management this spring, Dodds has been amounting an impressive athletic career ever since she first wore a Heat uniform. She scored six of her regular-season career 14 goals in her freshman year alone.
The forward was battling injuries all season long in 2013 before her timely return would be the difference for the Heat as she would lift them in each match at the Provincial Championships to eventually achieve a bronze medal.
“I’ve coached Dodds since she was 15,” said Paterson. “She is one of our two ‘rats’ on the field we call them. She’s hard working … and just such a slick player, such a pretty player to watch.”
Marissa Klees: The lone graduating to player to play five-years straight at UBC Okanagan, Klees joined Carlson in captaining the squad for the past two seasons. The somewhat undersized midfielder never backed down on the field, accumulating as many aggressive tackles as memorable as her mean mugs during team photos.
Marissa leaves the Heat with five career goals, four provincial medals in PACWEST, and several academic accolades the past three seasons. She was instrumental in last spring’s Relay for Life on campus, raising over $1000 herself for the charity to help research cancer.
“[An] incredible leader, incredible personality on and off the field. She is a true model for all of our young players,” Paterson eschewed of her longest-tenured player. “She’s been a fantastic captain and the players all look up to her.”
Christine Tallon: Like Howes, Tallon was a U of A transfer with Canada West experience coming onto the squad two years ago. Tending the net for the Heat she tallied 14 shutouts. She has been among the league leaders in shots saved all season long.
A PACWEST All-Star and national scholar, as well as a 2012 Academic All-Canadian, the keeper was also good at keeping up with her studies, as she looks to complete her studies towards a Bachelor of Arts degree.
“I think my best year of goalies was with her and Sabrina [Gasparac] one year—I had two starting goalies,” Paterson reflected. “[Tallon’s] grown as a player, she’s had some setbacks, but she’s taken all the younger goalies under her wing and really inspired them to achieve greatness.”