WOMEN’S SOCCER (CANADA WEST)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2011
TRINITY WESTERN (1) FRASER VALLEY (0)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GERIG SCORES LONE GOAL AS SPARTANS BEAT CASCADES
LANGLEY, British Columbia – The No. 4 Trinity Western women’s soccer team got a goal from Daniela Gerig in the 31st minute and that’s all the Spartans would need as they earned a team record eighth win in a row with a 1-0 victory over Fraser Valley Saturday.
With the game still scoreless, Spartans defender Nikki Byrne sent a thrown in to the feet of Jenna Di Nunzio who then sent a seeking cross into the box that found the head of Gerig, who deftly knocked it past Cascades goalie Chantelle Biagioni for what would turn out to be the winning goal.
The Cascades responded with nine shots attempted, three of which made it to Spartans goalie Kristen Funk but, despite sending the ball into the box with numbers on several occasions, were never able to crack Trinity Western’s backline.
With the victory, the Spartans have now outscored their opponents 21-3 in their eight-game winning streak. Previous to this streak, the Spartans best run came in 2004 when they won seven straight en route to a CIS national championship. That year, they finished the season on a team record 12-game unbeaten streak.
The win moves the Spartans record to 8-1-0 and keeps them in first place in Canada West and two points clear of UBC, a team they will play next Saturday. The loss drops Fraser Valley’s record to 3-5-2, which has them in seventh place and still three points out of a playoff spot with only four games to play. After starting the year with two wins, UFV has now only one win in its last eight games.
But while the three points were certainly important as it kept Trinity Western on top of the Canada West standings, by no means was this game a masterpiece for the home side.
“It wasn’t great for 90 minutes but we battled and sometimes you have to win ugly,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “You have to give credit to Fraser Valley as they worked very hard and you could tell they were desperate. We were a little bit tentative to start and it took us a while to get our legs going. I thought we could have passed a little better and been a bit sharper. Our movement off the ball struggled at times to find the right pass or the right run at the right time.
“There were still some good performances. Sometimes you can’t play the prettiest of soccer and they made it very difficult for us to play.”
The game got off to a sluggish start as both teams struggled to gain any momentum. Much of the play was spent in the middle portion of the field with the ball ping-ponging back and forth with neither team garnering much in the way of an attack.
Gerig’s goal in the 31st minute gave the game some much-needed life but it took little more than five minutes free-flowing soccer after the goal before that life was sucked right back out.
The Cascades sent every free kick opportunity into the Spartans box, but Trinity Western goalie Kristen Funk was sharp on nearly every occasion and didn’t give the Cascades much in the way of hope.
After the first half, Fraser Valley had seven shots to Trinity Western’s six.
In the second half, not much changed.
The Spartans made four substitutions, who did help increase the flow of the match, but it seemed this game was always going to be a dead-ball match.
As the game moved towards the final 15 minutes, the Cascades started pressuring Funk’s goal.
And in the 78th minute it looked like the Cascades had broken through with the equaliser. Forward Megan Webster, from inside the box, took a pass and quickly rifled it past Funk but the sideline official’s flag went up for an offside call and, in the end, that was as close as Fraser Valley would come.
The Spartans maintained possession for much of the final 10 minutes and suffocated any of Fraser Valley’s offensive pushes as they held on for the win.
Trinity Western’s lone game next week will be at UBC Oct. 15 at 5:00 p.m. in what will be a battle for first place. The Cascades will return home to host Regina Oct. 15 and Manitoba Oct. 16. Both games are at 12:00 p.m.
Game Notes: The Spartans outshot UFV 12-9…TWU had five shots on goal compared to UFV’s three…UFV’s Donna Pinning and Danielle Schmidt were each assessed yellow cards while TWU’s Jessica King was also shown yellow.