Johnson sends Spartans through to semifinals

Early goal helps Trinity Western pull off upset victory over Calgary in Canada West playoffs

The Trinity Western Spartans men’s soccer team got a goal in the third minute from first-year striker Leighton Johnson to score the upset victory over the host Calgary Dinos on Saturday night.

The victory advanced Trinity Western to the Canada West Final 4 this weekend at UBC.

“Everything, from the weather to their home field, favoured Calgary, but the boys came out and stole the milk off the porch,” said Spartans coach Pat Rohla. “You have to give credit to how we defended the front of our net. We were difficult to break down. We got the early goal and had to defend the rest of the way. To everybody’s credit, (Calgary) could have got one, but we could have got two. It was really back and forth.”

Andrew Hicks stopped all eight Calgary shots for the victory as the Dinos lost at home for the first time all season.

Rohla also singled out Brayden Gant for his play in the midfield.

“I thought everyone put in a good effort in a difficult place to play against a well-coached team,” the coach added.

The win sets up a match on Friday against the Victoria Vikes, a team which has beaten the Spartans twice already.

“Maybe the third time’s the charm,” Rohla said. “It’ll be a difficult opponent for sure.

“We’re ecstatic and pleased with this win, but we’re not finished.”