Heat men tune up for new soccer season

UBC Okanagan has busy pre-season in preparation for 2016 Canada West campaign

Shaun Pilcher and the UBC Okanagan Heat will host the Saskatchewan Huskies in Canada West pre-season soccer action this Saturday at Nonis Field.

The UBC Okanagan Heat continue their buildup to the Canada West men’s soccer season with a busy week of exhibition games.

Tonight at Nonis Field on the Kelowna campus, the Heat will take the UNBC Timberwolves at 5 p.m.

The teams will play again on Wednesday, with the matinee match to kick off at 12:30 p.m.

Then this weekend, the Heat will host the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday at 3:30 p.m, then will play a Kelowna men’s squad on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

The UBC Okanagan squad got an early start to the pre-season with two games at a tournament hosted at Hillside stadium in Kamloops by the Thompson Rivers WolfPack.

On Saturday, the Heat played Quest University to a (1-1) draw and on Sunday the Heat played the MacEwan Griffins to a scoreless draw.

Quest opened up the scoring on Saturday sliding one past starting Heat keeper Mitch McCaw (Calgary) in the 14th minute, the Kermodes held that lead until Corbin Beauchemin (Kelowna) notched the equalizer in the 60th minute.

Head coach Dante Zanatta thought it was a good effort from the team and a good run for the full 90 minutes. The majority of starters were first-year players and Zanatta was pleased with his team’s pace but he did think his squad could have used more thought on the field. Overall Zanatta said “It was a good run for the first time out.”

In the Sunday draw versus MacEwan, the Heat’s defense and possession was solid, as UBCO limited the Griffins to just a couple of shots on goal.

On offense the Heat produced chances but were unable to finish, missing both a penalty kick and a breakaway. Zanatta pointed out that his squad still needs to get better on the finer points, once again the Heat gave a lot of run to the newer members to the team.

The keeper battle in camp is shaping up to be a good one, all three net-minders in camp played 60 minutes over the weekend and all three showed well. The starter from the last two seasons, Tait Cuthill (Delta) started the Sunday match, rookie keeper from Aberdeen Hall in Kelowna, Nicholas Reitsma, played the last 30 minutes both days.

McCaw, the starter in Saturday’s game, played three years at Concordia University in Portland.


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