Nikhil Reddy (10) controls the ball during Men’s U Sports Soccer action at UBC Okanagan. It was the first homecoming game for the university. The Heat fell to the UBC Thunderbirds 2-0. (Marissa Tiel/ Kelowna Capital News)

UBCO Heat lose first homecoming match to number-one team in Canada

The UBC Thunderbirds earned 2-0 against the Heat

— Marissa Tiel

A beautiful bluebird autumn day greeted fans and athletes for UBC Okanagan’s first-ever homecoming sports match.

The Heat’s Men’s Soccer team suited up for an afternoon tilt against the number-one ranked team in Canada, the UBC Thunderbirds.

They fell 2-0 to their fellow UBC squad in front of a raucous home crowd of 338.

While the Heat had a few scoring opportunities, it wasn’t able to capitalize and went scoreless in its penultimate home game of the season.

RELATED: UBCO fires basketball coaches

The Thunderbirds got its first of the game just over 25 minutes into the first half as Victory Shumbusho found the back of the net. Riley Pang got their second of the game just after halftime, heading in a free-kick.

“They’re good,” said Heat head coach Dante Zanatta of the visiting Thunderbirds. “We had a chance early in the game that we just didn’t finish and then we had a chance late in the game that we didn’t finish.”

The home crowd lent their support, clacking noise makers on every Heat possession.

At halftime, RBC, the presenting sponsor of Homecoming and UBC Okanagan announced that RBC will be the title sponsor for the 2019 Scholarship Breakfast and will be offering two $1,000 scholarships for student-athletes this year.

The Homecoming soccer match was a first for the young university and was just one of a slate of events scheduled over the weekend.

READ MORE: Heat men kick off season at home, UBCO women in P.G.

“I think it’s great,” said Zanatta of Homecoming. “We start these traditions and keep building on it. Would have been better to come out with a win or a tie today, but I think that was an entertaining game.”

The Heat also faced the University of Victoria Vikes Sunday. They fell 2-0 to the visiting squad on Senior Day. Graduating players Shaun Pilcher and Bret Depner were honoured before kickoff.


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