Trinity Western women’s soccer team clinched first place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 win over No. 4 UBC Friday. Supplied

Trinity Western women’s soccer team clinched first place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 win over No. 4 UBC Friday. Supplied

Spartans clinch first place in Pacific Division with win over UBC

It was 'a really physical battle in a crosstown rivalry' coach says

  • Oct. 20, 2018 12:00 a.m.

The No. 1-ranked Trinity Western women’s soccer team clinched first place in the Pacific Division with a 2-1 win over No. 4 UBC Friday at Thunderbird Stadium.

In a game filled with three penalty kicks and two yellow cards, the Spartans (12-1-0) got two goals from Kathleen Chin, prevailing in a match that featured the healthy rivalry between the two universities. Both goals were scored on penalty kicks.

The Spartans 12 wins ties TWU’s women’s soccer record for most wins in a regular season. In 2011, the Spartans posted a record of 12-1-1.

“We’re relieved to have won in a really tough place to play,” said TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh.

“It was a really physical battle in a crosstown rivalry. I thought UBC started better than us but I thought we settled in and began to generate chances ourselves. We got two penalties and Kat took them really well. And then on their penalty, Rachel made an unbelievable save. It was a really intense game and had a lot of battles. I thought we controlled quite a bit of the second half in terms of our passing and being able to keep possession. They’re a very good team and we respect them immensely.”

In a fast paced first 10 minutes, it was UBC who almost scored the opener courtesy of outstanding rookie Michelle Jang. Kallner who had numerous set piece opportunities on the evening, played the ball in towards the TWU box which was cleared but fell to Jang who stepped in and placed an outside of the foot shot that went just wide of TWU keeper Rachel Sydor.

In the 20th minute, the visitors were awarded a penalty kick, after Jenaya Robertson was taken down inside the UBC box, following a free kick in a dangerous position for TWU. Seina Kashima played in the set piece and as Robertson was going for it, she was taken down by a combination of UBC defender’s, and the referee pointed to the spot instantaneously. Chin stepped up and scored the ensuing penalty past the outstretched arms of UBC keeper Emily Moore to make it 1-0.

TWU nearly doubled its advantage in the 44th minute, as Hadley misplayed a ball at midfield, which bounced kindly into the on-running Gabriella Short , who managed to get a shot off from 25 yards out, but Moore sprawled out to make a diving save and a resulting corner.

Trailing 1-0 after halftime the home side came out flying in the second 45, hitting two posts inside the first five minutes.

Four minutes later, it was Kallner’s turn to hit the wood work, as her fifth free kick of the evening from 30 yards out found the crossbar as her team continued to hunt for the equalizer.

UBC was awarded a penalty in the 60th minute, as their pressure paid off with some nice work down the left side from Steer, who played a ball to substitute Alyssa Hunt who was taken down inside of TWU’s 18-yard box. UBC’s joint leading scorer Danielle Steer stepped up ripped a powerful shot at Sydor, but the senior keeper got down quickly and denied the striker with a right footed save, to preserve the 1-0 lead for her team.

In the 63rd minute, another penalty was awarded in this match, and for the second time to TWU, as Kashima’s set piece into the box was a lethal one and after a couple of bodies went down for either side in the UBC area the referee found a reason to point to the spot once again. Chin once again stepped up and deposited her spot kick top corner on Moore, who was helpless in the UBC net.

Ten minutes later though, the T-Birds found their way back into the match, as Steer collected a nice feed from Jang, and placing a shot from 25 yards out into the bottom corner. It was 1-1 in the 73rd minute, as UBC had some time to find a way back into the match.

Despite five minutes of added time and a couple golden opportunities including a late spill on the ball from Sydor, UBC was held at one goal on the evening and an eventual frustrating 2-1 loss.

With the result UBC falls to 10-3-0 while seeing their seven-game winning streak come to an end but they maintain second spot in the standings with a playoff berth already confirmed.

With first place clinched, the Spartans have earned the opportunity to host both the Canada West Play-In and Quarter-Final games and, if they qualify, the Canada West Final Four.

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Langley Times