Heat women close in on playoff spot
The UBC Okanagan Heat women's soccer squad can take a big step towards a PACWEST playoff berth this weekend on its home turf.
The Heat will take on Langara College Saturday, 1 p.m. at Nonis Field, before hosting Quest University on Sunday in a noon kick-off.
UBCO is 4-1-5 on the season, good enough for sole possession of third place in the conference.
The top four teams will make the post-season.
The Heat helped their cause over the weekend with a sweep of two games on the road.
On Saturday, UBCO ended a string of four straight draws with a 1-0 win over Kwantlen in Newton as the Heat finally capitalized in the final minute.
Kira Byers, normally a defender, was moved to forward for the last 15 minutes of the game, and was able to put the ball past the keeper in the 89th minute to secure the victory.
On Sunday in Coqutilam, UBCO left little doubt about the outcome with a solid 4-0 win over the Douglas Royals.
“The four goals that we scored were quality and we had numerous other chances,” Heat head coach Claire Paterson said. “We are starting to get the bounces which is nice."
Kirsten Dodds, with her third of the season, Alana Hazell, Madeleine Greig and Mairi Horth scored the goals for UBCO.
Saturday the Heat shutout out the Eagles with Christine Tallon in goal, and Sunday senior keeper Sabrina Gasparac played the full 90 minutes for the clean sheet, her first on the year and that now gives her 17.5 shutouts in her UBC Okanagan career.
Gasparac, the co-captain, was in good spirits following the match and had this to say about the team’s weekend: “We definitely stepped it up this weekend and expected not only effort but quality out of each other. Voila, six points.”
The UBC Okanagan men's PACWEST playoff aspirations all but disappeared with two losses on the road last weekend.
On Saturday, a Heat comeback attempt fell short in a 3-2 lost to the Kwantlen Eagles as Dylan Abbott and Austin Jones slotted goals for UBCO
On Sunday, the Heat dropped a 5-0 decision to Douglas to slip to 0-6-4 on the season.
"The guys worked hard and stayed positive," said head coach Dante Zanatta. "We saw what we need to play like to get to the next level."
UBCO is now 12 points out of the fourth and final playoff spot with four games remaining.
This weekend, the Heat will play host to Langara on Saturday at 3 p.m., and to Quest on Sunday at 2 p.m. with both games at Nonis Field.