VANCOUVER – The Trinity Western women’s soccer team lost 2-0 on the road against UBC in the Spartans regular season finale Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium.
With their tie with Victoria on Friday, the Spartans (10-3-1) entered Saturday’s contest having already sewn up first place in the Pacific Division, which gave TWU a chance to give their young players valuable minutes.
UBC’s Aman Shergill and Margaret Hadley scored for the Thunderbirds, who finished the season with a 9-2-3 record and third in the Pacific Division.
Shergill’s goal in the eighth minute snapped TWU’s Canada West record shutout streak at 924 minutes.
Shergill’s fancy footwork was on display early in the game and her scoring was as well. In the eighth minute Shergill chipped a long shot that dipped down just in time and out of reach from Spartans goalie Christina Oliverio (Calgary), giving the T-Birds a 1-0 lead.
The first half saw the cross bar getting the best of the Thunderbirds. Jasmine Dhanda’s 11th minute shot went off the corner of the net, while Emma Kallner ricocheted a beautiful free kick off the cross bar in the 16th.
Hadley scored in the 17th minute when Oliverio spilled a sliding save. The ball fell to the feet of Hadley who easily placed it into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.
The Spartans backline pairing of Elizabeth Hicks (Surrey, B.C.) and Carley Willmott (Langley, B.C.) made sure to stifle the Thunderbirds attacks during the second half. The two defenders played off one another, intercepting passes and managing to dispossess the Thunderbirds.
In the 80th minute, the Spartans offense came to life with a long shot from Danae Derksen (Delta, B.C.) that went wide right. Two more chances came a minute later when Gabi Short’s (Calgary) shot was blocked and Bella Roque’s (Surrey) follow up header was saved by UBC goalie Marlee Maracle.
TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh
“Tonight was always going to be a little more challenging with the necessity to rest some key players. UBC played very well and controlled most of the first half, but I thought our younger players hung in there well and defended quite well against some of UBC’s elite players. It’s unfortunate that both of their goals kind of came from mistakes on our part. But after being down 2-0 through 20 minutes, I thought we sorted out our shape a little better and I was really pleased with the performances of some of our young kids. I thought we had a much brighter aggressiveness and compete level in the second half and didn’t really give them many chances.”
· The two goals the Spartans gave up marked the first time since Sept. 16 against Calgary that TWU has conceded a goal.
· The Spartans had gone 10 straight matches without giving up a goal.
· First-year Gina Minervini (Edmonton) made her Canada West debut, coming in at halftime and playing the entire second half.
· Willmott and Roque made their first-ever Canada West starts.
The Spartans will now prepare for their Canada West Quarter-Final match Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. at TWU’s Chase Office Field. Their opponent will be determined in a play-in game Oct. 26 at Chase Office Field between the fourth-place team from the Prairie Division and the fifth-place team from the Pacific Division. The winner plays TWU in the quarter-finals.