WOMEN’S SOCCER (CANADAWEST)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2011
TRINITY WESTERN (1) AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (1)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BERGERON’S LATE GOAL EXTENDS SPARTANS UNBEATEN STREAK TO NINE
VANCOUVER - An intense 90 minutes of soccer decided nothing between two of the nation's best teams on Saturday, as the No. 3 Trinity Western Spartans used an 80th minute goal by rookie forward Sarah-Kim Bergeron to earn a 1-1 tie with the No. 5 University of British Columbia Thunderbirds at Thunderbird Park.
“Very pleased that we came away from the game with a point, which would have probably been an injustice had we lost. But all credit to UBC they defended very well,” commented TWU head coach Graham Roxburgh. “We had some very good performances and as a team we showed a lot of character to battle back, stay patient and generate chances when UBC was defending desperately.”
The tie keeps first place Trinity Western two points ahead of second place British Columbia and stops the 8-1-1 Spartans winning streak at eight matches, but extends their unbeaten streak to nine matches. The tie also extends the 7-1-2 Thunderbirds unbeaten streak to five matches.
Neither side managed many quality scoring chances in the first half, but the T-Birds managed to take a lead into halftime thanks to a great strike by midfielder Rachel Ramsden in stoppage time. Defender Kelly Cook swung a long ball into the box off a free kick which found its way through a crowd and onto Ramsden's boot in space at the corner of the 18 yard box. She made no mistake in crushing it past Spartans keeper Kristen Funk to open the scoring.
The scoring opportunities opened up in the second half with the Spartans pressing hard for an equalizer, and although both sides managed to dodge several close calls, the visitors did get their goal in the with just over ten minutes remaining in the contest.
After a UBC run was closed down, TWU midfielder Melissa Mobilio started the counter attack with a long pass up the park to forward Nikki Wright. She played a high bouncing ball in behind the UBC defence, where Bergeron won the race to it, nudging it over a charging Alyssa Williamson to even the score. “Sarah-Kim was a real spark off the bench she created some great chances and was unlucky not to have gotten a couple of goals,” said Roxburgh.
"They're a heck of a team loaded with good talent. At some stage in the game you're going to have to weather some pressure, and you just hope it's not in the last few minutes when you're hanging on with your fingertips," said UBC head coach Mark Rogers.
UBC's best chance of the second half was a three-on-two run headed by Natalie Hirayama that made it as far as the Spartans' 18 yard box, but the 'Birds were unable to get a clean shot off before they were closed down by the defence.
Just before their tying goal, the Spartans were robbed by a spectacular Williamson save. TWU forward Alicia Tesan found herself in space 20 yards out and let fly with a powerful shot aimed straight at the top corner, but a leaping Williamson managed to get just enough of a touch on the ball to send it over the bar and keep her side on top. “Their keeper made a fantastic save to deny ‘Cheech’ what would have been a very classy goal,” commented Roxburgh on Tesan’s strike.
A difficult test lies ahead for both squads, as they will both host the Alberta Pandas and Saskatchewan Huskies - the conference's third and fourth place teams - next weekend.
Match notes: Bergeron’s goal snaps the Thunderbirds shutout streak at 453:56 minutes over six matches. The last time UBC gave up a goal was in the 76th minute of a 2-0 loss to Alberta on Sept. 25…during their five match unbeaten streak the Thunderbirds have outscored their opponents 12-1…During TWU’s nine game unbeaten streak the Spartans have outscored their opposition 22-4…the Spartans magic number is five points to claim a play-off spot, while the Thunderbirds is seven points…the two squads currently lead fifth place Victoria by ten points and eight points and sixth place Calgary by 11 and nine points, with 4-3-2 Calgary having a game at hand and Victoria, 4-4-3, having played one more than UBC and TWU…UBC’s goal was their only shot on target for the match, while TWU finished with five shots on goal…the Spartans finished the match outshooting the Thunderbirds 10 to six…
-source UBC sports info.