A two goal lead proved too much for UBC Okanagan to overcome in their first game on home turf against eight ranked visitors.
KELOWNA, BC – UBC Okanagan women’s soccer squad home opener was upset when UBC’s second goal of the match established too large of a deficit for the Heat to come back from on Saturday at the Nonis Sports Field as the visiting Thunderbirds left Kelowna with a 2-1.
T-Birds’ Taylor Shannik, scoring her first goal of the season, put the game away in the 46th minute with a shot to the top right corner from Amrit Berar who made a long run down the sideline before sending the pass toward the net that Shannik cleanly finished.
UBC’s early offensive push proved to be impactful in scoring and led to the first goal of the match as Kym van Duynhoven, who was named the UBC player of the match, finished with a shot to the bottom corner, her first goal on the season and was assisted by Shayla Chorney with a cross. The 1-0 lead was held by UBC into the half and extended to 2-0 on Shannik’s goal.
Kelowna’s squad retaliated late in the game with a booming shot to the top right corner from senior Michelle Smith, her third in seven matches this year. Her goal, in the 72nd minute, was assisted by forward Courtney Hemmerling on a nifty back-heel pass to create the space for Smith to get the shot off.
Smith’s goal was one of four shots hurled at the UBC keeper, Olivia de Goede. The UBC Thunderbirds captured the majority of the possessions throughout the match and finished with 19 shots with 13 on net forcing UBC Okanagan’s goaltender Joella Koblischke to make eleven saves, several of the spectacular variety.
Koblischke’s quick reactions to the ball were pivotal in keeping the score and play close towards the end of the match. UBC had a great chance to go up by two again in the 80th minute but Koblischke made a panther-like save of a Aman Shergill kick.
Hemmerling and fourth year winger Mairi Horth ran with solid pace all game long but the passes were unable to connect to the Heat forward stifling UBC Okanagan with nary a chance to pull even. Cassie Bratton came in for rookie Kaylin Ferguson in the 23rd minute and pressured the T-Bird defenders for much of the second half.
Player of the game for the home team was Lindsey Berthelson, the freshman defender kept UBC forward Amrit Berar, off the scoresheet.
The CIS No. 8 Thunderbirds, winners of three straight, improve their record to (5-1-0). Up next for UBC will be a match in Kamloops to play Thomson Rivers. Game time is at 2 p.m. at Hillside Stadium.
After a physical match the Heat will continue their home stand tomorrow against the UVic Vikes. UBC Okanagan hope to improve on their (1-3-3) record on the Nonis Sports Field. Game time is 2 p.m. you can watch both live on canadawest.tv.
~ Tia Sadler // Heat Communications