Trinity Western Spartans' Kristen Sakaki (right) and UBC's Reetu Johal battle for the ball during the Spartans 2-1 victory on Oct. 14 at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium. A pair of victories over the weekend helped the Spartans clinch top spot in the Pacific Division.

Trinity Western Spartans' Kristen Sakaki (right) and UBC's Reetu Johal battle for the ball during the Spartans 2-1 victory on Oct. 14 at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium. A pair of victories over the weekend helped the Spartans clinch top spot in the Pacific Division.

Spartans clinch top spot in Pacific

Road to national championships goes through Langley as TWU earns right to host Canada West women's soccer playoffs

The road to the CIS national championships will go through Langley.

That is because the Trinity Western Spartans have clinched home-field advantage through the Canada West women’s soccer playoffs.

The Spartans, ranked No. 2 in the country, did so with a 2-1 win over the UBC Thunderbirds last Friday and followed that up with a 2-0 win over the UVic Vikes on Sunday afternoon. Both games were on the road and improved the Spartans to 10-0-2 and clinched top spot in the Pacific Division.

“I’m very pleased with our performance today,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “I thought we executed our chances really well. Rachel’s goal was extremely well taken with a great cross by Seina Kashima.

“We had a few other chances early and I think maybe we were a little unfortunate not to score the second goal earlier, but I’m pleased we responded at halftime.

“In the end I thought we were tidy in possession and defended very well. UVic had one good chance when they hit the crossbar, but other than that, I thought we kept most of their chances to the outside.”

The Spartans opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Kashima whipped in a beautiful cross which Rachel Hutchinson rose above the defence to head the ball into the net.

Minutes in the second half, TWU doubled their lead when Jenaya Robertson pounced on a loose ball.

Hutchinson also opened the scoring against UBC and after the Thunderbirds tied the score in the 61st minute, Isabella Di Trocchio scored on a free kick six minutes later.

It was the fifth straight game-winning goal for Di Trocchio.

The Spartans close the regular season by hosting the Lethbridge Pronghorns and Calgary Dinos on Oct. 21 and 22 at TWU’s Chase Office Field.

Following that, the team will host a Canada West quarter-final playoff game and should the Spartans prevail, they would then host the Canada West Final Four championships to see which teams advance to the CIS championships.