VANCOUVER – The No. 8 Trinity Western men’s soccer team lost for the first time this season, as the Spartans dropped a 3-0 decision against No. 2 UBC Friday at Thunderbird Stadium.
After opening the season with four consecutive wins, the Spartans (4-1-0) were stymied by the defending Canada West champions, with the home side tallying three second-half goals in a 10-minute span to earn the victory.
The T-Birds (4-0-1) broke open a scoreless draw in the 49th minute with a strike from Kerman Pannu. Just over seven minutes later Lucas Reis doubled UBC’s lead, before Manraj Bains rounded out the scoring barrage in the 59th minute.
The Spartans hadn’t allowed a goal in their three previous outings and had given up just one marker in four conference games this year. TWU goalie Andrew Hicks (Surrey, B.C.) made four saves in the loss.
“They were difficult to break down, but I don’t feel like we played our best game,” said TWU coach Mike Shearon. “Part of that is what UBC did to us tonight and part of it is that we didn’t play very well. The good news is it’s one game and we have an opportunity to make it better tomorrow night. We have an opportunity to learn and grow, so I’m excited to see how we come back and how we respond.”
The Spartans now travel to play Victoria (1-2) Saturday at 6:15 p.m. (PT). The game can be seen live on www.canadawest.tv. The Vikes beat Fraser Valley 2-1 Friday night.
UBC came out of the gate the stronger side and had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the seventh minute when Pannu broke in all alone, but Hicks made a diving stop.
The TWU goalkeeper also made key first half saves on Zach Verhoven and Jules Chopin to keep the T-Birds off the board through 45 minutes.
TWU’s best chance of the first half came off the boot of Mitchell Urzinger (Langley, B.C.), who grazed the crossbar with a right side opportunity in the 37th minute.
“In the first half, we had a few chances to take the lead, but so did they,” Shearon said. “Hicks came up big on a few saves and we couldn’t put ours away.”
Pannu opened the scoring when he found a loose ball in the middle of the box and fired it past Hicks.
The T-Birds Reis then took advantage of a mistimed clearing attempt from Hicks and, after the TWU keeper was unable to punch the ball from danger, buried his 56th minute chance into an unprotected net.
Bains then rounded out the scoring, tallying directly off a corner kick.
T-Birds goalkeeper Jason Roberts earned the clean sheet without being forced to make a save.
GAME NOTES: UBC had 13-2 edge in shots…the T-Birds had a 5-1 edge in corner kicks…UBC’s Verhoven was the lone player booked, seeing yellow in the 24th minute.