After taking three points from six last weekend, the No. 4 Trinity Western women’s soccer team will look to bounce back in a way and take the full lot this Friday and Saturday when it hosts UBC Okanagan and Thompson Rivers at Rogers Field.
With every point so ever precious in a 14-match whirlwind regular season, the Spartans will aim to build upon a 3-1 win over Victoria last Saturday and get back to their traditionally dominant home field form.
On the season opener, Trinity Western women’s soccer team was held scoreless by visiting UBC and, for the first time in nearly two years, the Spartans suffered a home loss, as the Thunderbirds earned a 2-0 win Sept. 11 at Rogers Field.
Playing in front of 635 boisterous fans, the Spartans owned much of the possession in their home-opening contest, but UBC’s Amrit Berar was the hero of the night, scoring twice to lead the T-Birds to their second win in as many games to start the season. Capitalizing on an early Spartans error, UBC opened the scoring in the sixth minute and then tallied again in the 59th minute to seal the win.
The loss snaps the Spartans 15-match home winning streak, including regular season and playoffs, which went all the way back to a 2-1 setback against Victoria on Sept. 13, 2013.
“(Losing at home) is something we’re not used to, but maybe we needed a bit of a wake-up call if I’m being honest,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh.
“I don’t think we had many players who would put their hands up and say, ‘I had a good game.’ I thought Vanessa Kovacs’ work rate was probably our leadership. (But) Canada West is a tough conference and if we play like that, we’ll struggle against teams.”
The Spartans had a 12-8 edge in shots and a 6-1 advantage in corners, but Berar’s brace proved to be the difference.
TWU goalie Ally Williamson (Langley) was playing in her first game with the Spartans after transferring from UBC in 2014 and she made two saves in the loss.
In the 6th minute, Berar capitalized on a turnover deep in the Spartans end and, from the middle of the box, buried a clear-cut chance to the low left corner.
“We’re a young team and we probably had a little bit of anxiety with some players wondering where the goal was going to come from. We had some chances. . . . but I think we were pretty naïve around the box.
“I think when players look at the video, they’ll realize ‘Wow, I made some poor decisions tonight.’”
Vanessa Kovacs had an offensively dominant night against Victoria as she collected two goals and one assist to lead TWU.
Friday, Sept. 18 – vs. UBC Okanagan at 5 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 19 – vs. Thompson Rivers at 5 p.m. Both at Rogers Field.