Third year midfielder Elijah Adekugbe scored the game winning goal in extra time of the second half to give the Trinity Western University Spartans a 2-1 victory over the University of Winnipeg Wesmen on a rainy, windy Sunday afternoon at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex in Winnipeg.
“It was an exciting game today with a great ending for us. We continued to battle over the 90 minutes and one finally fell for us,” TWU head coach Mike Shearon said. “The boys worked really hard. It was a tough game out here in Winnipeg with the wind and the elements. We knew going into this weekend we would face adversity and hopefully we have grown from our experience out here in the prairies.”
With the victory Trinity Western improves to 7-2-1 in regular season play, while the loss drops Winnipeg to 1-8-1.
Adekugbe took a pass from third year forward Leighton Johnson and beat Wesmen goalkeeper Joshua Partaker with a perfect shot to the far corner for game winning goal, breaking a 1-1 tie.
Fifth year defender Taylor Johnson scored the first goal for the Spartans (45th-plus minute).
Fifth year midfielder Krzysztof Szulc scored the lone goal for the Wesmen in the sixth minute.
It was a cold, windy day with field position playing a vital key in the contest for both sides.
The hometown Wesmen gained the early advantage scoring the opening goal of the contest. Szulc finished a perfect give and go with William Brown and beat Spartans fifth year goalkeeper Andrew Hicks to give Winnipeg an early 1-0 lead just six minutes into the contest.
The Spartans evened the score in extra time of the opening half. Taylor Johnson got his head on a corner kick taken by Adekugbe and beat Partaker to even the contest at 1-1.
After the halftime break, the windy conditions continued with neither team getting any quality scoring chances, but that soon changed. In the 61st minute William Brown beat Hicks with a shot only to ring it off the far post to keep the game tied at 1-1.
The Spartans had a glorious chance of their own in the 82nd minute as third year forward Vito Poletto let go a shot headed to the top right corner but Partaker was able to get a hand on it to keep the score deadlocked.
Trinity Western had a wide margin in total shots (18-7). Partaker made six saves in the Wesmen net, Hicks made one save for the Spartans. The Spartans took eight corner kicks, while Winnipeg attempted four.
The Spartans will be at home next week against Victoria and UBC. Winnipeg will travel to Saskatoon to take on the Huskies on Saturday and Sunday.
FINAL WHISTLE: The Spartans Adekugbe is fifth in Canada West in goal scoring with six goals and third in points with 10. Andrew Hicks is second in Canada West with seven wins…