UPDATED: Bronze for Spartans soccer

UPDATED: Bronze for Spartans soccer

Trinity Western Spartans women’s soccer team returning to Langley with bronze medal from nationals

At the start of the season, Graham Roxburgh was unsure of what would unfold.

He knew his women’s soccer team — a perennial powerhouse program — had the talent to compete at the highest level, but he was also keenly aware that it was a young and slightly inexperienced squad.

A 1-2 start to the Canada West season didn’t help matters. But what followed was a 10-game unbeaten streak, where the team set a new conference mark of not allowing a goal. Both streaks would eventually end — TWU conceded a goal for the first time in 924 minutes — in the regular season finale.

The Spartans wrapped up the season on Sunday with a dominating 3-0 win over the Western Mustangs in the bronze medal game at the U Sports national championships. They were held in Winnipeg at the Subway Soccer South Complex.

“If you had told me the first weekend we would get to nationals and finish top three, I would have been a little surprised,” Roxburgh said on Monday morning, back in Langley after his team returned from nationals late the night before.

“I think I said at the start of the season, we are the type of team that has the ability to go on a run and we are also still young enough where we are going to make some mistakes. And unfortunately, some of those mistakes got punished on Saturday.”

Roxburgh was referring to his team’s 5-0 loss to the eventual national champion Montreal Carabins in the semifinals.

“(Montreal was) clinical. They got a couple of really good chances early and scored and we had a couple of chances and didn’t,” Roxburgh said.

This marked the first time in 11 national championship appearances that the Spartans lost in the semifinals as TWU was previously 7-0 in those games.

“We tried to pick up their heads because they were devastated,” Roxburgh said about the coaching staff’s pre-game message.

“Sometimes in soccer and in life, weird things happen and that is not a reflection on their season, so let’s give the country a true picture of how pour season was and how good our team can be. And we did that.”

Amy Gartke got the Spartans on the board in the third minute before Western’s Jenna White equalized on a penalty kick in the 57th minute.

Kathleen Chin and Rachel Hutchinson — both named tournament all-stars — struck for goals seven minutes apart to give TWU a lead they would not relinquish.

“I’m just really proud of their resiliency and their desire to finish on a high note,” Roxburgh said.

“We fell one hurdle short but are very proud. There’s still that bitterness because we probably felt like we deserved to be in the final this year based on our season, but to cap it off winning a bronze isn’t too shabby.”

This was the Spartans eighth medal in those 11 appearances at nationals, all with Roxburgh as head coach. It also gives the program a complete set of medals with five gold, two silver and one bronze.

And the future looks promising for the program as they are scheduled to lose just one player to graduation, fifth-year goalkeeper Christina Oliverio, who made four saves in her final university game.

“The future is very bright, but (the loss) still stings a bit,” Roxburgh said.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Trinity Western University

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

UPDATED: Bronze for Spartans soccer

The Trinity Western Spartans won the bronze medal at the U Sports national championships in Winnipeg. TWU Athletics photo

The Trinity Western Spartans won the bronze medal at the U Sports national championships in Winnipeg. TWU Athletics photo

Just Posted

Fraser Health has announced another COVID exposure at Brookswood Secondary. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Two elementaries added to Brookswood in latest Langley schools with COVID exposure

Three school alerts Monday follow on the heels of five issued this past weekend

Fort Langley’s proposed new truck route is outlined in red. It would move most truck traffic around the village of Fort Langley. (Langley Township Engineering/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Fort Langley truck route plans to be decided in 2021

Township council will decide on the project during the budget process next year

(Black Press Media files)
A call for Aldergrove Christmas lights

Send in pictures and addresses so others can see your holiday display

Langley Township and City provide garbage receptacles where people can deposit their bags of dog poop instead of tossing the bags into bushes. (Langley Advance Times)
LETTER: Langley letter writer dumps on irresponsible dog owners

People who don’t clean up their dogs poop or who toss the bags in the bushes irk local resident

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read