The Trinity Western Spartans showed why they’re the top-ranked team in U SPORTS, topping the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves 5-2 Friday night (Oct. 4).
Despite a gritty effort from a TWolves side playing at home, the Langley-based Spartans used three second-half goals to stretch their record to a conference-best 8-0-1 and extend their winning streak to eight games.
TWU struck just nine minutes into the game, when Kathryn Harvey scored, converting a Rachel Hutchinson cross that was flicked on by Gabi Short. The goal was her fifth of the season.
The TWolves responded later in the half, when Jenna Wild and Sofia Jones played give-and-go, springing the San Francisco native, who beat goalkeeper Hannah Miller from 10 yards out. The goal was the third of the season for the speedy third-year.
UNBC looked to be heading to halftime with a 1-1 score, until TWU was awarded a free kick from the top of the box. Spartans captain Jenaya Robertson made no mistake, bending it around the wall and past an outstretched Doyle for her sixth goal of the campaign.
In the60th minute of the second half, the ball came out to Kristen Sakaki, who hammered it in with her left foot, finding mesh for her first goal of the season.
Just four minutes after the Sakaki marker, UNBC’s Paige Payne got on the board. The forward, who was playing defense because of injuries, weaved her way to the 28-yard mark and crushed it top corner, beating Miller.
That’s as close as the Timberwolves would come, however, and Hutchinson put the exclamation mark on the TWU victory, scoring on a free kick from 30 yards out.
TWU Coach Graham Roxburgh was pleased with how the team managed the game.
“I thought UNBC was very good at times and made it very difficult on us by just how calm they were on the ball and how they kept possession,” Roxburgh said.
“Sometimes our press didn’t work but in the end we scored a few wonderful goals. Jenaya had an unbelievable free kick and for me that was the tell-tale moment of the game because it settled us down and gave us a lead at halftime.”
The Spartans are now 9-0 all-time against UNBC.
The only points TWU has dropped this year was in a season-opening scoreless draw with UBC.
Next up, Spartans will now travel to Calgary to take on the Dinos today (Sunday) in a battle between the last two remaining unbeaten teams in Canada West.