A pair of wins on their home pitch has pushed the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s soccer team into top spot in Group B of the Pacific Western Athletic Association standings.
The Heat (4-1-1) opened the weekend with a 1-0 victory over the Capilano Blues Saturday at Nonis Field on campus.
Third-year Midfielder Taylor Sarchet was the Heat’s lone goal scorer, finding the net 10 minutes into the second half. It was a quick play as fellow forward Lindsey Briggs took a shot from the right side that rebounded off the opposing keeper’s hands straight out to Sarchet.
“I don’t even remember Lindsey shooting it,” said Sarchet. “I just remember seeing the ball and trying to hit it as hard as I could, trying to keep it down so it didn’t go over the net. (Capilano’s goalie) is tall so we really needed to focus on keeping the ball low today.”
Despite continued rain and a slippery turf, many of the players reveled in the wetter conditions.
“We have a lot of players from the Vancouver area who are comfortable in the rain,” said head coach Claire Paterson. “We just have to keep our feet moving more when it’s wet and slippery…the ball skips quite a bit, so we have to be prepared for that.”
The Heat’s defense managed to keep the Blues at bay, and keeper Sabrina Gasparac managed to stop a last ditch effort scramble in front of the net in the dying minutes of the game.
On Sunday, the Heat completed a weekend sweep with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Island University Mariners.
The Heat came out strong with a goal in the first minute of game as midfielder Michelle Smith was able to finish a chance after a scramble in front of the net.
Fourth-year keeper Sabrina Gasparac held the opposing team back with strong support from defender Haley Carlson.
In the first five minutes of the second half the Heat scored again off a penalty kick by midfielder Taylor Sarchet, The heat were awarded the PK when Emily Braun was taken down inside the box.
Forward Lana Finley netted the Heat another goal late in the second half, expanding the Heat lead to 3-0.
The Mariners broke the shutout late in the second half, but UBCO would hang on for its fourth win in six starts.
“They all played together and realized when they were not playing as they should be and brought themselves up to bring two good wins,” said Heat coach Claire Paterson.
The Heat women return to action Saturday, 1 p.m. in Kelowna when they host UNBC.
The UBC Okanagan men’s team managed one point in PacWest action last weekend, earning a 1-1 draw with Capilano Saturday.
After playing through heavy rains for much of the first half, the Heat opened the scoring in the second half when Sean Causier redirected a cross into the net in the 75th minute.
Finally up one on the Blues, the Heat got another break when Capilano’s Ivan Mrdjen received a second yellow card and ejection, giving them a one-man advantage. Still, despite a few solid showings on the defensive end towards the final whistle, the Heat relinquished their lead in the first of three extra minutes when Blues forward William Wescott headed the ball over top of Heat keeper Spencer Brown.
Coach Dante Zanatta was not entirely pleased with his players’ ability to keep the play under control, and attributed the problem to a lack of experience and immaturity still with the team.
“When you have a very young team, learning to win is a very important thing, Zanatta said. “We’re making these crucial mistakes late in the game and it’s costing us. It’s a process. They have to learn that they have the game under control.”
On Sunday, UBCO dropped a 1-0 decision Vancouver Island U, the defending provinvcial and national champs.
The Heat held their own until the Mariners scored with just five minutes remaining.
“(The Mariners) are defending national champions, but our boys played really well today,” said Zanatta. When you’re playing national champions you need to play very efficient, hopefully when we play with them again in a few weeks, we can win.”
Next action for the men’s soccer team will follow the women’s game on Saturday at 3 p.m. as the Heat host the University of Northern B.C. Timberwolves at the Nonis Sports field on UBC’s Okanagan campus.