KELOWNA, BC- UBC Okanagan women’s soccer team scored three goals on Nonis Sports Field to defeat the UNBC Timberwolves in their Canada West home opener on Saturday.
The final score was 3-0 for the Heat, with rookie Maya Bandy scoring one, and third year Courtney Hemmerling scoring two. Chloe Ainsworth finished the match with the clean sheet for the win.
The home team blitzed the visiting Timberwolves, with Hemmerling scoring her first goal 71 seconds into play. Half way through the first half, Bandy slotted the ball into the net off a cross from Hemmerling for a 2-0 advantage.
Hemmerling’s second goal came in the 79th minute of play, as she pressured the UNBC’s keeper, Lianna Toopitsin, who fumbled the ball within her feet. Hemmerling claimed the ball off of Toopitsin’s pass attempt and placed it into the right back corner of the net.
In the 2015 CIS season, Hemmerling scored three goals in total. After only three games of this season, she has already managed to reach her previous year’s total.
Speaking about today’s game, Hemmerling commented that “the positional play and the movement of the ball is miles better than it has been in the past, and [the team] moving together and trusting it each more […] definitely contributes to the success.”
Throughout the entire first half, the Heat dominated possession with strong ball movement along the backline and linking the ball with the attacking players.
UBC Okanagan had several close scoring opportunities, including Kaylin Ferguson’s shot off the cross bar in the 13th minute of play.
Conversely, UNBC seemed to struggle to control the ball or build any solid chances in the attacking third. UBC Okanagan out shot UNBC in both the first half (6-4), and second (8-2). Seven of the Heat’s shots were on goal, whereas the visitors failed to place any of their shots on net.
At the 35 minute mark, UNBC had their first solid shot attempt from Tianna Pius, but the Heat’s rookie goalie, Chloe Ainsworth, easily handled the long shot that was sailing wide of the net.
Shortly after Pius’ attempt, Tianna Rossi stripped the ball from the Heat’s midfielder outside the 18 and sailed it up and over the net to hit the upper field goal post.
The Timberwolves’ record falls to (0-3-0). UBC Okanagan record now sits at (2-1-0).
In continuing their momentum for tomorrow’s match, assistant coach Carli Tingstad says “they’ll need to build off the first half. The second half [of the game] got a little scrambling and drifted away from our game model;” implying that the Heat will find success by playing more consistent throughout the entire 90 minutes.
The Heat hosts the University of Alberta tomorrow afternoon on Nonis Sports Field to conclude their home opening weekend of the season. Match starts at 1 p.m. (PDT). UNBC is off to Kamloops to face the Thompson Rivers WolfPack at 12 p.m. (PDT).
GAME NOTES: 17 out of 18 members on the Heat’s roster saw field time today. Keeper Chloe Ainsworth recorded her first shutout of her career…in just her third start….Ainsworth came from Quest with coach Craig Smith after netminding at the PACWEST school for a year….Maya Bandy has 2 goals in just three career CIS matches……Hemmerling has scored 8 goals in 29 matches for UBCO…..