Gideon Hill, UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER – The UBC women's soccer team gave their all in a 1-0 loss to the University of Calgary Dinos in their second home game of the season Saturday night under tough conditions at Thunderbird Stadium.
Both teams were coming off games the night before with the Dinos (3-1-0) winning on Vancouver Island 1-0 over Victoria and the Thunderbirds downing Lethbridge 4-0 in their home opener.
Neither squad came out with good possession in the first five minutes, but after a free kick was awarded to Calgary in the 8th minute they took the lead. Amy Mikuska got on the end of a fortunate bounce off a free kick, and her left footed volley floated over the head of T-Birds keeper Emily Moore and in.
"We needed to be a little more precise, a little more personable to go and find that goal," said UBC head coach Jesse Symons following the rainy affair at Point Grey. "No fault to the girls as they played exceptionally well."
UBC would counter back with seemingly endless possession for the next 10 minutes and it nearly proved fruitful as second year striker Danielle Steer's loose touch in the 18th minute found Tess McCrae, but her attempt floated over the net.
The Thunderbirds continued to pour on the pressure with incredible spells of keeping the ball and switching the play trying to find a way through Calgary's back line. It appeared the 'Birds were going to equalize the match 15 minutes before half when they broke into Calgary's 18-yard box. Forward Michelle Jang got a tidy ball from Steer and dribbled past a couple of defenders but her strike was snuffed out by Dinos keeper Lauren Houghton.
Before both teams could take a breather at half time, UBC's Emma Kallner was awarded a free kick from 25 yards out in the 38th minute. The fifth year defender stepped up to take it, and wrapped the ball around the wall, but Houghton had to make an amazing sprawling save to push the ball to her left to keep her side in the lead.
It was much the same story in the second half for UBC with chances aplenty. The home side were not keen to give up the ball though, as they had great spells of possession through the first 15 minutes of the second half. This almost paid dividends when Alyssa Hunt got on the end of a delightful switch from Margaret Hadley in the 61st. Her rising shot went off the palm of Houghton and off the crossbar for a UBC corner.
"I felt it was an unlucky situation to go down by one for sure, our team worked hard today," added Symons. "They really grinded it and pushed through, but unfortunately the girls weren't able to get it past their keeper tonight".
The T-Birds are back at it next Friday hosting the UBC Okanagan Heat under the Thunderbird Stadium lights at 7:00 p.m. PT. The Dinos who sit tied with Alberta atop the Prairie division visit Winnipeg next Saturday.
PHOTO: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds