It was one of the weirdest Canada West games in UNBC history. Two rain delays, three-and-a-half hours of total time, and a stop-and-start matchup with a national powerhouse. When it was all said and done, the Trinity Western Spartans came out with a 5-0 U SPORTS women's soccer victory over a gritty T-wolves side.
The Spartans came out firing, finding the scoresheet 16 minutes into the game off the foot of Gabi Low, as she capitalized on some erratic play around the Timberwolves net.
The T-wolves did well to settle in, and even created some traction through the midfield, but that was all halted by thunder and lightning. More than an hour of weather delays slowed the momentum of both sides, as officials waited for the skies to clear. When the teams returned to the pitch, a beautiful shot by Spartans’ Sarah Bazille doubled their lead.
“That was a bit of a mess, but for us, we came in and talked about it. We were able to relax,” said TWU’s Anna Dunn. “For us, music is a big thing. We were singing and dancing, and that kept our energy up. It obviously worked, so, happy with that.”
In the second half, the young Timberwolves defended well, helped by veteran ‘keeper Brooke Molby who was her usual stellar self. Starting a backline with three freshmen, UNBC did well against a dynamic opponent.
“It has been a journey so far, but I think for our fourth game in, we have already made a lot of progress,” said UNBC’s Kalista Kirkness. “I am excited to see how the three of us progress. Having Mikaela (Cadorette), we learn a lot from her. It is awesome having a fifth-year back there with us, and just learn from her as much as we can the rest of the season.”
Late in the game, with the score 3-nil, the relentless Spartans continued to pressure the Timberwolves, and were rewarded with goals by Kathryn Harvey and Tilly James in the 88th and 91st minute.
“Right from the start, we were giving it all, for the full 90 minutes,” said Kirkness. “It was unfortunate that is was a 5-0 score when it wasn’t a 5-0 game. I am really proud of everyone. Everyone worked really hard.”
The Spartans generated 20 shots, often using their quickness and ball movement to keep the T-wolves hemmed in. However, prior to the late flurry, UNBC did well to limit Trinity’s possession in the middle of the pitch.
“They capitalized on their speed today. We did a good job today of not letting them play through,” said Kirkness. “But, when they are running those lines on the wings, they capitalized on those chances when they had them.”
With the victory, combined with Friday's 6-0 win over the T-wolves, TWU improves to 4-0-0 on the season, while UNBC slides to 0-0-4. The Spartans welcome UFV to Langley next weekend and UNBC travels to Vancouver to take on UBC.
“We really wanted to come away with six points this weekend, and we got the job done,” said TWU’s Dunn. “That is over now. We look at it like we have zero points and we get ready for the next one.”