Sam McDonald couldn’t get the winner on Friday night, but wasn’t to be denied Saturday.
McDonald scored all the Heat’s goals as the UBC Okanagan men’s soccer team earned a win and tie over the weekend.
With the results, first-place UBCO improved to 4-1-1, four points clear of the second-place Victoria Vikes in the Canada West Pacific Division.
UBCO 1, TWU 0 (MSOC)
LANGLEY — McDonald scored the game-winning goal late in the second half over the Trinity Western Spartans late Saturday.
In a game where the Heat outshot the Spartans 15-6 and had an 8-4 edge in shots on goal, it was the visitors breaking through in the second half to earn their fourth win of the season. TWU dropped to 1-3 on the campaign.
The game’s only goal was a wild one.
UBCO played a ball into the TWU goal area where Luke Warkentin slammed a shot off the crossbar.
McDonald capitalized on the rebound and headed a looping ball over a leaping Sebastian Colyn to secure what would stand as the game-winner. His fourth goal of the season leaves him tied for the Canada West goal-scoring lead.
TWU pressed for the equalizer, but came up empty, earning just one shot over the final 20 minutes.
Heat goalie Nicholas Reitsma was forced to make just one stop before the break. Reitsma finished the match with his second clean sheet of the season.
UBCO 1, UFV 1 (MSOC)
ABBOTSFORD — McDonald scored his third goal of the season, but it wasn’t enough to earn a road win.
University of the Fraser Valley sophomore centre back, Sahib Sidhu, struck in the 72nd minute to help the host Cascades earn a draw.
McDonald staked the Heat to a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute, but it was Sidhu who picked an opportune time to notch his first career Canada West goal and play the hometown hero.
The visitors opened the scoring on a dizzying passing sequence in the 31st minute, weaving their way through the UFV defence before Warkentin’s final pass found McDonald alone in front of Cascades ’keeper Ethan Duggan for the close-range finish.
UFV was much better in the second half, outshooting the Heat 7-2 over the final 45 minutes.
They were rewarded in the 72nd minute.
On a scramble off a long throw-in from Atle Koellmel, Manpal Brar headed the ball forward and Jhaj claimed possession in a crowd of UBCO defenders.
Moving to his left, he unleashed a shot that was blocked by a Heat defender, and Sidhu was Johnny-on-the-spot to fire the rebound into the top corner.
“I thought the first half we played quite well — we could have been up two or three,” UBCO head coach Dante Zanatta said.
“We talked about not giving the Cascades an opportunity in the second half to get into a bit of a battle and get their foot into it, and we let them in right off the bat. They didn’t give up – they continued to compete, and it was a good match. At the end of the day, I’m a little disappointed we didn’t take the three (points).”
The Heat return to Kelowna to face off against the MacEwan Griffins on Friday and Alberta Golden Bears on Saturday. The matches start at 7:30 p.m. on Nonis Sports Field.
UNBC 3, UBCO 0 (WSOC)
PRINCE GEORGE — Pressing for the equalizer, the Heat women gave up two goals late in the match and dropped their second straight road decision.
The Timberwolves women's soccer team used a pair of goals from Sofia Jones, as well as the first career tally for Claire Turner, to blank the Heat on Saturday.
UBCO lost 5-0 last Thursday to Calgary.
UBCO did well to bounce back through the remainder of the half, as they began to possess the ball and hem the home side into their side of the pitch. Near the end of the first half, Jillian Hunt and Aurora Gardiner both had good chances to put the Heat on the board, but couldn’t soil UNBC (2-0) ’keeper Madi Doyle’s clean sheet.
“I thought we controlled the play, but they were pretty connected,” said UBCO’s Maya Bandy. “They had a good platform through the middle. They’re a good passing team and they have a strong centreback, so we had a tough time getting through there.”
In the 80th minute, with the Heat pushing up in search of the equalizer, Payne found Jones with a ball just over the head of a UBCO defender, earning her second goal of the match.
The third goal of the game for UNBC came when senior Julia Babicz used her speed wide, before setting up the freshman Turner in the box who one-touched it past Terrillon for the first goal of her Canada West career.
The Heat play their home opener against the Alberta Pandas on Friday night, and then host the MacEwan Griffins on Saturday. Both matches start at 5:30 p.m. on Nonis field.