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TWU Spartans women’s soccer team defeats Calgary to win Canada West championship

Eighth consecutive Canada West gold medal match for Spartans
Spartans Jenaya Robertson gets past a Calgary opponent during the Saturday game that saw the Trinity Western women’s soccer team captured its second straight Canada West championship. Courtesy TWU

The Trinity Western women’s soccer team captured its second straight Canada West championship, beating Calgary Dinos 1-0 Saturday at Chase Office Field.

With Rachel Hutchinson scoring the game-winner in the sixth minute, the Spartans earned their eighth Canada West championship.

Rachel Sydor made six saves to earn the clean sheet and the victory.

Playing in their eighth consecutive Canada West gold medal match, the Spartans scored early and then held off a Dinos side that finished the night with a 6-5 edge in shots on goal.

The Spartans and Dinos will now both move on to play in the U SPORTS Championship, starting Thursday in Ottawa. The tournament seeding and schedule will be announced Sunday.

Since joining Canada West in 2001, TWU’s women’s soccer team has now won 14 conference medals, including eight gold, five silver and one bronze.

TWU opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Hutchinson converted a rebound from inside the six-yard box. After Danae Derksen sent in a cross off the right side, TWU’s Jenaya Robertson’s shot was blocked, but it was Hutchinson knocking home the loose ball.

The Dinos nearly equalized in the 16th minute when Jordan Smith put a header off the crossbar.

Calgary had another close call in the 22nd minute when Maddison Fritze had a clean look on goal from 20 yards out but TWU’s Sydor came up with the save.

With the course of play tilting towards the Dinos side, the visitors finished the first half with an 11-7 edge in total shots. Calgary also had six shots on goal to TWU’s three.

The second half saw the Spartans defensive line keep the Dinos largely at bay as TWU didn’t allow a single Calgary shot on target in the second half.

After Calgary’s 11-shot first half, the Dinos were held to just one shot in the second half.

“It was a tough game,” said TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh. “Calgary is excellent and they’re very skilled. We’re always hungry for the knock downs and I thought we defended their directness well. They have three or four very special forwards, who can hurt you at any given time and I thought we dealt with them well.

“I was really pleased with Rachel Hutchinson. To be injured for a good chunk of the season and not be in a rhythm and now score three playoff goals, she’s back on form. We’ve done well.”

This weekend marked the Spartans 15th straight appearance in the Canada West Final Four.

All told, TWU has played in 13 conference finals since joining CW in 2001.