PRINCE GEORGE, British Columbia – For the second game in a row, the No. 9 Trinity Western’s women’s soccer team earned a well-coordinated 3-0 victory, as this time it was the Spartans knocking off UNBC to win their first road game of the year Friday night.
Six days after a three-goal win over Thompson Rivers, the Spartans (3-1-1) took to the road and were full value for their second clean sheet in as many games. While the Timberwolves (0-4-1) managed five shots on target, they were largely on their back foot throughout the contest, with the Spartans maintaining strong possession from the outset.
TWU’s Ali Oliverio (Calgary) opened the scoring for the second consecutive game with a goal in the 25th minute. Like last Saturday’s game, Oliverio’s goal once again stood up as the game-winner. Vanessa Kovacs (North Delta, B.C.) doubled TWU’s lead in the 36th minute when she notched her third goal of the season, before first-year Jenaya Robertson (Delta, B.C.) capped the scoring with a 53rd-minute marker.
For the second straight match, TWU’s Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C) picked up two assists, helping on the Spartans first two goals, to move into the Canada West lead with four assists on the season.
Spartans goalie Ally Williamson (Langley, B.C.) made five saves for her second shutout of the season, while Jordan Hall and Lianna Toopitsin split goalkeeping duties for UNBC, combing for nine saves.
“Obviously anytime you go on the road in Canada West and win convincingly, you feel good about how your team played,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “I thought our passing and our work rate and our ability to link and combine showed that we’re really starting to grow as a team.”
TWU broke through in the first half when Krista Gommeringer (Calgary) found Kashima with a strong ball to beat the Timberwolves back line. Kashima crossed it into the box, where Oliverio finished it off, beating Hall with a header to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
“I’m not sure you’ll see a much better pass played by Krista Gommeringer,” Roxburgh said. “She played a ball that bent around three defenders to send Seina in and she got a great cross and Ali got to it at the near post and hammered it in. It’s probably one of the better team goals that we’ve scored in a while.”
From there, the Spartans settled in and asserted themselves with a complete game at both ends of the pitch.
Kashima set the table again in the 36th minute, as her ball into the box found its way to Kovacs, who made no mistake to give TWU a 2-0 lead going into halftime.
The Spartans rounded out the scoring in the 53rd minute, as Robertson won a battle in the Timberwolves box off an Isabella Di Trocchio (Burnaby, B.C.) corner kick, connecting on the header to beat Toopitsin, who was making her CIS debut in relief of Hall.
From there, UNBC had some opportunities, but Williamson was never really threatened as TWU outshot the Timberwolves 18-7.
“Some of our younger kids came in for the second half and we picked up right where we left off with energy and intelligence,” Roxburgh said. “I’m very pleased overall. The back four was very good. The midfield early on was excellent to win the ball and corporately we played really well.”
The Spartans will now head to Edmonton to battle Alberta (1-3-1) on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Timberwolves will host No. 6 Fraser Valley (4-0-1) at noon on Sunday.
Game Notes: Kovacs returned to the TWU starting lineup after missing the Spartans last game due to injury…the Spartans are now tied with Victoria for the West Division lead in goals scored, with 10.