The Trinity Western Spartans have long been a staple atop the Canada West women’s soccer standings.
The team has not lost more than one regular season in each of the past five seasons. But on Saturday, the Spartans capped off an unbeaten season for the first time in program history, playing to a 1-1 draw with the fifth-ranked Calgary Dinos. The Spartans are ranked second in the country and finished the regular season at 11-0-3.
“It is a nice testimony to how hard our team has worked and how consistent our standards and our program we want to try attain and reach have been over the years,” said TWU coach Graham Roxburgh.
The coach admitted he had to be reminded on Saturday about the accomplishment.
“To be honest, I don’t think we have played as well as the unbeaten record shows. But it shows our consistency,” he said.
“It is nice to achieve but we know it doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the playoffs.”
Against Calgary at TWU’s Chase Office Field on Saturday, Stephanie Chin converted a penalty kick in the sixth minute for the early 1-0 lead. The Dinos equalized in the 49th minute and neither team could capitalize despite several good opportunities.
“It was a really entertaining game,” Roxburgh said.
“It ebbed and flowed and they had a couple of really good chances towards the end. I thought we weren’t really sharp with our finishing, but I was delighted with some of the chances we created.
“We just need a little bit more intentionality to make the right run or seal the box.
“Overall, it was two very good teams and they went at it tonight and in some ways nobody had the knock-out punch.”
Up next comes the Pacific Division quarter-finals, with the Spartans hosting the UBC Okanagan Heat. A victory would advance TWU to the Canada West Select Six championships.
TWU is the conference’s stingiest team, allowing just six goals in the 14 games.
What has impressed Roxburgh even more than the fact they did not lose a single game is the fact his team overcame adversity as they have been without some key players due to injuries.
“Players have (just stepped up) and filled gaps from the girls that have graduated and some of the injuries.
“That is probably the thing that has pleased me the most — we have been able to pull together and deal with some adversity,” he said.
“We have been missing a few of what I would call our regular core.
“But we just bounced back, different players have stepped in.”
Both the TWU men’s and women’s team have home playoff games on Saturday (Oct. 29) at Chase Office Field.
The women’s team hits the pitch at 4 p.m. in a battle against the UBC Okanagan Heat.
And at 7 p.m., the men’s side squares off against the Mount Royal Cougars.
The team was off this past weekend after wrapping up their regular season on Oct. 16.