What a time to score your first goal for your new team.
Rookie Jacob York and third-year defender Aaron Mulama each scored as the UBC Okanagan Heat downed the visiting UBC Thunderbirds 2-0 on Sunday in Canada West soccer action.
It was UBCO’s first conference victory over their big-city cousins and improved the Heat’s record to 3-1 on the Canada West season.
Heat captain Hamish Walde ranks this win as “probably up there as No. 1,” he said. “(It) was a real team effort. Everyone that came on the pitch put a job in, and we got the result we were looking for.”
To make it more dramatic, the victory over No. 5-UBC completed a sweep at home after UBCO defeated the Victoria Vikes, Saturday.
The Heat opened the scoring in the ninth minute as Mulama flew down the left side and guided the ball past UBC keeper Jason Roberts.
After getting a pass from Jimmy Steel, Mulama quickly separated himself from the UBC defender and found the bottom right side of the net.
The Heat carried the 1-0 lead into the second half, although the stats were heavily in favour of UBC, who lead in shots 13-4.
The Thunderbirds (2-1-1) continued to press early in the second half. UBC came close to scoring in the 49th minute when Kerman Pannu played a ball into the box.
It tipped off UBCO goalie Nicholas Reitsma’s fingertips and rattled the post.
York buried the Heat’s second of the game in the 66th minute after deflecting a pass from Taylor Piche into the back of the net.
It was the first career CanWest goals for Mulama and York.
Although the visiting side carried most of the offensive play, the Heat were prepared to match with strong defensive efforts.
Reitsma made a career-high nine saves in his clean sheet.
UBCO 3, UVIC 2
Two goals from Corbin Beauchemin propelled the Heat to victory, Saturday, against the Vikes.
Both teams scored once in the first half, and then traded a flurry of goals within 3:36 in the second half.
Beauchemin and UVic’s Matt Hobson traded first-half goals to square the game 1-1 at the break.
The Heat struck first after the restart with Beachemin’s second of the match coming in the 63rd minute. The Vikes’ response was almost immediate when West Kelowna native Isaac Koch tied the match 14 seconds later.
Fifth-year midfielder Jeevin Kang erased any idea of Koch playing hero, however, and scored the game-winner in the 65th minute.
The Vikes (2-2) opened the scoring after Koch rang a shot of the iron. He regained possession and had another glorious chance saved by Reitsma’s dive to his right. The ball fell to the feet of Hobson who made no mistake to open the scoring.
Beauchemin tied the game for the Heat off a corner from Spencer Young just before halftime. The Heat crowded the six-yard box as Young whipped the ball into the area. It travelled through a cluster of players where Beauchemin found the ball and then the twine.
For Beauchemin’s second of the game, he worked a give-and-go with Pierson Stanley. The fourth-year forward burst up the right side and buried a shot into the short-side corner.
Koch continued his strong game scoring his second goal of the year and his sixth point of the young season to even the game at two.
Kang’s goal to give UBCO the final lead was off another corner from Young, the third in his career and especially satisfying after an injury-plagued 2018 season.
The final gasp for the Vikes came late, but it was Reitsma who came up large, stuffing the very dangerous Koch in the 83rd minute from close range.
With the wins, UBCO sits atop the table in the Pacific Division after two weekends of play.
The Heat are back in action Friday at the Fraser Valley Cascades (1-2-1) and Saturday at Trinity Western Spartans (0-2).
UBCO’s women get underway Thursday at the Calgary Dinos and Saturday at the UNBC Timberwolves in Prince George.