Heat women sweep opening weekend
Their last season as members of PACWEST couldn't have started any better for the UBC Okanagan women's soccer team.
The Heat opened the 2013 campaign over the weekend with back-to-back wins at Nonis Field on campus.
On Saturday, fifth-year Heat player Jennifer Kidd scored the game winner on a penalty kick as UBCO downed the VIU Mariners 2-1.
After being hauled down in the box in the 70th minute, a composed Kidd buried the kick just past the outstretched arms of Mariner goalkeeper Shelby Walker to break a 1-1 draw.
"When that whistle blew, I took a deep breath and focused on what I had to do," said Kidd following the game. "I wasn't concerned about the score (during the PK). I was only concerned about me, the keeper, and the twelve yards of turf between us."
Michelle Smith opened the scoring with a header in the 37th minute, before VIU scored in the 67th minute.
A notable performance that didn't show up on the score sheet was that of Laura Graham (Sidney), the stand-in for keeper Christine Tallon (Kamloops). Graham, a midfielder, found herself thrust into action during training camp after Tallon suffered a concussion.
On Sunday, the Heat blanked the Capilano Blues 2-0. Michelle Smith, with her second of the season, and Taylor Sarchet tallied for UBCO.
"It was a really good game overall," said Heat head coach Claire Paterson following the game. "I thought the team played really well together and created tons of chances."
Player of the Game, Lindsey Briggs, was behind most of the Heat's chances on the day. Numerous times she created great opportunities for her teammates, keeping the pressure on the Blues defense.
"I'm really, really happy with how our team came together for each other and how we fought to defend our home turf," finished Paterson.
The Heat will begin what will be three weekends of play on the road next weekend, travelling to Surrey to face the Kwantlen Eagles on Saturday, then to Coquitlam to play Douglas College on Sept. 15.
The Heat men opened up the 2013 season a split at home.
On Saturday, UBCO held its own against the defending CCAA gold medalists before coming up short 4-2 to the VIU Mariners.
In rainy conditions at Nonis Field, both teams battled to the final whistle.
“They’re a physical team,” Heat coach Dante Zanatta said of VIU. “I thought for the vast majority of the game it wasn’t anything dirty. It was just a physical soccer game.”
Dylan Abbott and Jordan Leib scored for the Heat who trailed 3-1 at the break, before trading goals with the Mariners in the second half.
On Sunday, the Heat shut out Capilano 2-0, as keeper Logan Ellis stole the show with two crucial saves.
Enzo Paal scored five minutes in to give the Heat the lead for good, while Lucas Krivak added insurance in the 85th minute.
It was a solid showing many first and second year players for the Heat, and when asked about their performance, Heat head coach Dante Zanatta was anything but surprised by their performance.
"I've known these guys for years," said Zanatta. "I know they're skilled. It's just a matter of getting used to the pace of the game, but the future is bright for our young players."
The Heat will resume the 2013 PACWEST season on the road next weekend, heading to Surrey Kwantlen Eagles Staurday, then Coquitlam to face Douglas College on Sunday.