UBC Okanagan varsity sports witnessed a couple of firsts over the weekend in Prince George.
The Heat soccer squads made their Canada West debuts. And both the men’s and women’s teams picked up their ever first points at the highest level of university soccer in the country.
Danta Zanatta’s Heat men began their CIS journey with a split of two games against the UNBC Timberwolves.
On Saturday, UBCO earned a victory on their first try with a 2-0 decision over the T’Wolves.
In a focused and spirited effort by the Heat, Jordan Leib scored his first two Canada West goals in the 60th and 73rd minutes, while Christopher Cuthill made six saves, including two in the late going to earn the shutout.
Zanatta praised his players after the game, saying that they “came in very focused, and played some very nice football.”
On Sunday, UNBC responded with a better effort , taking down the Heat 2-1.
The Timberwolves jumped out to 2-0 lead through 34 minutes, before Austin Jones connected of the lone UBCO tally at the 55-minute mark.
The Heat (1-1) wil play their home opener this Friday, 7 p.m. at Nonid Field against Fraser Valley Cascades. On Saturday, Trinity Western U will be in town to provide 5he opposition.
In women’s action, the Heat have their first two CIS points after a pair of ties with UNBC.
After 0-0 draw on Saturday, UBCO looked to be headed for victory but settled for a single point as the T’Wolves scored late to earn a 1-1 tie.
Hayley Carlson struck for the Heat just over 19 minutes into the opening half. Courtney Hemmerling and Michelle Smith each came close to giving their side a two-goal edge but both rang shots off the crossbar.
It remained that way until injury time when Sidney Roy slipped past a defender and beat Heat keeper Christine Tallon to steal victory away from UBCO.
“It was aheart breaking result, the team played so well today, we deserved better,” said Heat coach Claire Paterson.
“We needed to just close out the last two minutes but made a mistake that left us exposed at the back and UNBC capitalized.”
Next up for the Heat is Canada West home opener this Friday and Saturday (Sep against the Fraser Valley Cascades. Saturday, the Trinity Western Spartans will visit Nonis Field.
Kick off both nights is 5 p.m.