By Katie Maryschuk, Trinity Western University
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 4-ranked Trinity Western women's soccer team found an early two-goal lead and repeated the act later in the second half to win 4-1 in a much-anticipated home game against No. 6 UBC Saturday at Chase Office Field.
Third-year Gabi Short (Calgary) opened the game for TWU (2-0) just 24 seconds into the first half, marking her second goal of the season. Three minutes later she earned an assist when Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.), tallied her first of the season to spark the Spartans early two-goal edge. However, UBC responded quickly in the fifth minute with Danielle Steer (Surrey, B.C.) scoring her second of the season to set the game at 2-1.
Looking to earn their second win in a row to start the season, having opened the year with a 3-1 victory over Victoria, the Spartans Amy Gartke (Edmonton) and Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) got in on the scoring in the second half to close out a tidy Spartans effort.
Hosting the second and third ranked teams in the Canada West preseason poll – UBC was second and the Vikes were third – TWU outscored its local rivals 7-2 over two nights to make an emphatic early-season statement.
TWU goalie Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.) stopped two of the three shots she faced before being forced from the game with an injury after a collision late in the first half. First-year Hannah Miller (Langley) saw her first minutes as a Spartan and stopped the only shot she faced in 45 minutes of action.
UBC goalie Emily Moore made five save on the nine shots she faced.
After a wild start to the contest, the game cooled for the remaining 40 minutes of the first half as UBC and TWU traded possession.
The second half started slowly and didn't see any goals until the 60th minute, when the fifth-year Gartke broke through, slamming home a loose ball from just inside the box.
Hutchinson earned her first goal of the season just two minutes later to increase the Spartans lead to 4-1, with the Spartans striker finding her way to a Kashima free kick in the box and tucking it past Moore.
Thunderbird Emma Kallner (Richmond, B.C.) put an 81st-minute shot on target, but was denied by Miller.
TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh
"To be honest, our work rate was outstanding tonight. I thought UBC was very good at times and moved the ball very strategically and found some good pockets. They were a threat and Steer is a handful. But I thought we weathered the storm and scoring so quickly definitely settled the nerves. Our work rate to win the ball back in the middle park led to our two goals. However, I was a little disappointed that we had a breakdown that caused the corner, which let them get back in to it.
"I thought we were a bit flat and they were the better team in first 15 or 20 minutes of the second half, (but) we persevered and showed some character and had some really good performances. I thought we slowly took over the game and then when we scored our third goal, that changed tide. Any time beat you can beat a really tough team like UBC, it's a good step in the right direction."
• Along with Hutchinson, it was Kashima and Gartke also scoring their first goals of the 2018 season.
• Danae Derksen (Delta, B.C.), Kathryn Harvey (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Sierra Halldorson (Winnipeg, M.B.) all saw game time in the second half.
• Despite leaving the game at halftime, Rachel Sydor was credited with the win.
• Through two games, TWU has had five different goal-scorers.
• UBC's Steer now has two goals and two assists to lead her team through three games.
The Spartans are back on the pitch next weekend when they travel to play Manitoba Friday (4 p.m. PT) and Winnipeg Saturday (5 p.m. PT). UBC returns home to host Lethbridge Friday and Calgary Saturday.