Kelowna, BC – After playing four of the last five matches on the road the Heat found their offense on their home turf, scoring three goals to get by the MacEwan Griffins (3-2) on the Nonis Turf Friday afternoon, in a weekday matinee Canada West men’s soccer match.
It was senior UBCO defender Shaun Pilcher who played the hero for the home team, when his header sailed over the outstretched Seth Johnstone’s, hands and gave UBC Okanagan a 3-2 lead, they would not relinquish over the final 24 minutes of the match.
UBC Okanagan never trailed in the match scoring twice in the first half before Pilcher’s game winner in the 66th minute, his first goal of the year and the second in his 55-match career, was all the Heat needed for the team’s second win on the season.
The action on the wet turf started quickly as the teams traded goals early in the match, UBCO’s Hamish Walde converted a free kick in the 13th minute and MacEwan quickly countered with a goal of their own in the 14th minute.
Everett Orgnero had himself quite a day in Kelowna scoring both of the MacEwan goals, both times drawing his Griffins even in the match at the time of his markers, each goal was set up by sharp low pass from Christian Hernandez.
Orgnero’s first, in the 14th minute, was off a slick pass off the foot of Hernandez and the first year forward from Calgary finished far post UBCO keeper Nicholas Reitsma.
The Heat had the lead going into the half when Luke Warkentin would play a great ball through to Corbin Beauchemin who would make no mistake firing it to the bottom right corner off the semi breakaway. It was Beauchemin’s second goal of the season and the first since the season opener against Trinity Western.
Just a minute into the second half the Griffins would find the equalizer, once again it was Orgnero, and he would slot home his second of the match from just outside the six-yard box. Hernandez with another connecting pass to free the foot of the Griffins forward.
Both keepers were busy on the day as UBCO’s Reitsma had to turn away six shots for the win with GMU’s Johnstone faced the same eight shots but saved one less than his keeper counterpart, with five saves in the match.
The Pilcher gamer winner was on one of only two corners UBC Okanagan earned on the day. Nikhil Reddy, the third year midfielder, crossed the ball high into the box where the 6’1″ human kinetics student was able to get high enough to get a clean head on the ball and strike it past the keeper.
In the Table:
With the win the Heat earn a win and their record sits at (2-4-3) but are still in fifth in the Pacific Division.
The Griffins, in the Prairie Division, hold onto second place with a (3-4-1) record.
MacEwan will head to Vancouver and play the Thunderbirds on Saturday night at Thunderbird Stadium. The Heat will remain on their home turf and will host the Saskatchewan Huskies on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. start time.
With the Walde goal that gives him three on the season to equal Warkentin for the team lead…Warkentin’s assist was his first on the season and he remains equal for UBCO’s top point getter with Walde, both players have tallied three goals and an assist for four points…