WINNIPEG, MB – A relentless attack on the Univeristy of Winnipeg goal keeper was the offensive formula employed by the UBC Okanagan women’s soccer team as Michelle Smith scored the games only goal to lead the Heat to a win in their conference opener over the Wesmen Friday night.
The match was scheduled to be played at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex but due to severe weather conditions the game was moved indoors to the Rec Plex on the University of Winnipeg campus.
The young Heat team were unfazed by the last minute change and forced the action for the full 90 minutes against the Wesmen, the Heat finished with 25 shots, compared to just four by the home squad.
The lone goal was scored by the lone fifth year player on UBC Okanagan, Michelle Smith (Vernon, BC), who made a fantastic play heading in the ball off of a long pass off a free kick in the 47th minute from fourth year defender Justine Drosdovech (Kelowna, BC) to beat Wesmen goalkeeper Justina Jarmoszko.
“It was a good start to our season and we are very happy to capture three points,” head coach Claire Paterson said after the match. “I thought the team did well to adjust and stay focused with having to move the match inside at the last minute due to weather.
Paterson was impressed with her team’s skill pointing out that at times “we had some very nice spells of play with slick passing which created numerous chances for us.” However,” coach says, “you can tell we are young though as those moments of brilliance would be followed by some scrambly play.”
The visiting Heat squad controlled the opening 10 minutes of the match getting several early scoring chances, including a shot by Drosdovech that rang off the crossbar. The teams showcased their defensive skills for the remainder of the half as the score was knotted at 0-0 at halftime.
Fifth year Wesmen midfielder Danielle Bulloch had a glorious chance to tie the score at the midway mark of the second half but Heat goalkeeper Joella Koblischke (Lake Country, BC) slid across to make a diving save to keep the Wesmen off the scoreboard.
Koblischke made three saves for the shutout in her CIS debut. Jarmoszko, also in her first regular season match made 11 saves.
Another first year player for UBC Okanagan, Kaylin Ferguson (Pickering, ON), was named the Heat player of the match. Coach Paterson said that “Kaylin was dangerous and was often double teamed.” and a large reason why the Kelowna squad was able to amass so many chances.
Both teams will be in action on Saturday. The Heat (1-0-0) will play the University of Manitoba Bisons (1-0-0) on the University of Manitoba Turf Fields, the West Field (Fort Garry Campus) at 2 p.m. (PST). Winnipeg (0-1-0) will take on the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack (0-1-0) at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex starting at 2 p.m. (PST).