LANGLEY, BC- Out shot 19-1 in Langley, the Heat men’s soccer team make that on e shot count in claiming a much needed point after forcing a a 1-1 tie against Trinity Western on Saturday at Rogers Field.
With the draw and last night’s big 3-0 win over the UFV Cascades, UBC Okanagan secures four points to double their total to eight in the Canada West Pacific Division, and remain in fifth place with a record of (2-4-2). Trinity Western (3-2-1) remain in fourth place in the Pacific division with the tie, and are two points clear of UBC Okanagan with two games in hand. Top four from the division make the postseason.
Trinity Western’s Elijah Adekugbe (Calgary) scored the Spartans lone goal late in the second half to salvage the tie after the Heat’s second year forward, Cole Kingzett (Penticton, BC) had opened the scoring earlier in the half.
In spite of the Spartans maintaining much of the possession throughout the match, the Heat managed to sneak the ball across the goal line on their lone shot on net against the Spartans. Just over 20 minutes into the second half, UBC Okanagan’s Kingzett was sent in alone and slotted home his opportunity from just inside the box on what amounted to the Heat’s only chance of the night.
Tait Cuthill, making his eight straight start in net for UBC Okanagan was busy all night, he turned away four of the five shots sent his way by the Spartans. With those four tonight he adds to his impressive 38 saves on the season, that places him in second place in the category of overall saves in the Canada West Conference, the third year keeper is also third in save percentage (.792).
The initial 45 minutes saw a pressing Spartans team dominate possession, but they failed to break through. The second half saw more chances for TWU, but Adekugbe was the only Spartan to beat UBCO goalie Christopher Cuthill.
Adekugbe nearly found the goal in the 10th minute, but his shot soared over the goal. Leighton Johnson (Calgary) and Jarvis Ambaka (Maragoli, Kenya) also had first half opportunities in the 16th and 27th minutes, but were left wanting. The Spartans did well with quick possession passes, but had only one of eight first half shots hit the target.
Joel Waterman (Aldergrove, B.C.) nearly put TWU on the board in first half stoppage time, but his shot bounced off the right post.
With TWU pressing for the equaliser, Adekugbe finally scored in the 79th minute off a free kick from 30 yards out. The Calgarian midfielder whipped a shot through traffic and found the low right corner.
The last 10 minutes saw a final burst of energy from the Spartans as the momentum from the goal pushed them onwards. The best chance for a winner came when Domenic Poletto (Calgary) put a long-range shot off the crossbar.
Ambaka, who earned player of the game honours, also took a last-minute shot on goal that went sailed wide.
The Spartans continue their mid-season action Oct. 9 at University of the Fraser Valley with the game starting at 6:30 p.m.
In the upcoming week, the Heat will play a home-and-home series with interior rival Thompson Rivers Oct. 9-10 as he WolfPack (sixth in the conference) will both be making a final push for the playoffs in the heated rivalry.
UBC Okanagan due to a scheduling quirk finish the season with a bye, their last two matches will be at home against the UBC Thunderbirds and the University of Victoria Vikes, those two squads are both nationally ranked and in first and second place in the Pacific Division respectively.
– with notes from Mark Janzen // Assistant Sports Information Director Trinity Western University
~ Rachel Parker // Heat communications