Heat strike first, hold off Griffins for fifth win of season

86
File photos for UBC Okanagan Heat athletics

KELOWNA, B.C. – Under a full moon on Friday the 13th, the host team, UBCO Heat, welcomed the MacEwan Griffins to town, taking down the visitors (1-0).

The Heat men’s soccer team started off their two-game homestand on the right foot on Friday night at the Nonis Sports Field. First-year forward Pierson Stanley scored his first career Canada West goal in the 33rd minute. His marker would go down as the eventual game-winner as the Heat played their classic, strong defense and possession offense to take down MacEwan.

The Heat peppered MacEwan’s keeper Seth Johnstone early. The onslaught began in the second minute with two quality chances by Luke Warkentin.

The Griffins pushed back when Michael Enes fired a shot labeled for the top corner. Nicholas Reitsma leaped to his right and got just enough of the ball to keep it from crossing the line.

Rookie, Stanley recorded his first ever Canada West goal as he finished a smooth passing play to put the Heat up in the 33rd minute. Corbin Beachemin played the ball into the box and Stanley was there to put in the game’s first goal.

Everett Orgnero nearly tied the game for the Griffins in the 36th minute but his shot trailed across the goal line and missed wide.

In the 65th minute Spencer Young found the ball and danced past a defender. In open space he crushed a ball that rang the far post for UBCO’s best chance of the second half.

During the dying minutes of the game the Griffins continued to push. A shot from Liam Creek sailed wide left in what would become MacEwans last quality chance at tying the game.

The Heat continued to look for some insurance on the one-goal lead in the 85th minute. Luke Warkentin found a deflected ball at the top of the box but his shot was stopped by Johnstone.

The Heat are now at (5-1-1) after their win, and the Griffins are (1-3-1).

The Pacific division leading Heat stay at home and will take on the University of Alberta Golden Bears at 7:30 p.m. PDT tonight, September 14.

The Griffins will head north for a match against the TRU Wolfpack in Kamloops