KAMLOOPS, BC – Second year midfielder Ryan Jerry picked a clutch time to score his first goal of the season when he found the back of the net in the 85th minute for the game winner, sending the UBC Okanagan men’s soccer team to a (2-1) win in Kamloops over the host WolfPack on a windy Saturday night.
Although Jerry may get the accolades fore scoring the game winner there was no doubt who was the Heat’s MVP at Hillside Stadium tonight. Tait Cuthill was named player of the match for the Heat and it was Herculean effort in the first half that gave Jerry a chance to score the winner late in the game.
Cuthill made nine saves in the match, and now leads all keepers in Canada West with 51 on the season. Both coaches from tonight’s match commenting on the 6-foot five keepers night. “ Their keeper made pretty much unbelievable point blank saves in the first half. They were sure goals. Kudos to him for making those saves.” said TRU head coach John Antulov as he also noted that they kept the pressure on and had chances throughout the night.
Overall the home team out-shot UBCO 20-6, TRU keeper Travis Froehlich only made one save on the night.
Heat head coach Dante Zanatta agreed that Cuthill was outstanding. “He was. He played very well. He rose to the occasion and kept us in it. He kept us in early. TRU had a great chance to tie late in the first half but he made the save.”
When we have a rivalry game it is always tough,” stated Zanatta. “TRU played extremely well. We were fortunate in the first half. Our keeper (Christopher Cuthill, 3rd year, Delta, BC) made some good saves. Sometimes you need the close things to go your way and we got that. Our team continued to battle. We gave up a PK late but found a way to comeback.”
After Thompson Rivers had battled back from a 1-0 deficit to tie the contest midway through the second half it was then that the game was decided when Summerland’s Ryan Jerry got the ball and broke down the centre of the field. He launched a shot which appeared to be carried by the wind, deflected off the hand of WolfPack keeper Travis Froehlich and sailed into the top of the net.
With the win UBC Okanagan move into the fourth and final playoff spot in the Pacific Division of Canada West with a (3-4-3) record. The heat have 12 points on the table but have played 10 of their 12 games and are the only squad to not have had a bye weekend.
The loss places TRU directly behind UBC Okanagan with a record of (1-5-2) and 10 points on the table, yet with two games in hand.
The Heat opened the scoring in the eight minute when Luke Warkentin broke in hard to the box and got the ball and buried it low on Froehlich for his fourth of the season.
TRU’s goal came in the 61st minute when Khalifa Fanne was hauled down by Manny Straith in the box. The ensuing penalty kick was taken by Mitch Popadynetz who buried it for his first of the campaign.
The final games of the year are this upcoming weekend for the Heat and offer stiff competition as both teams will be at home (Oct 17-18) against the CIS ranked No. 2 UBC Thunderbirds and the No. 9 Victoria Vikes.
UBC Okanagan will play the Vikes on Saturday and then close out their conference regular slate of games on Sunday, both games are to be played at the Nonis Sports Field at get underway at 3 p.m.
HEAT NOTES: Three senior players will play their final regular season games this upcoming weekend when Jorden Leib, Manny Straith, and Harrison Shrimpton are honoured for their years on the Heat.
~ With notes from Larry Read // Thompson Rivers communications