The University of British Columbia

PREVIEW: Men's soccer conference opener set for Monday/Tuesday (update)

PREVIEW: Men's soccer conference opener set for Monday/Tuesday (update)

What you need to know

  • It is all about the air quality as updates on the matches are happening daily. Stay tuned to and for changes.
  • Postponed Saturday and Sunday
  • The Heat are looking to return to the post season following a heart breaking final weekend last season where they narrowly missed out on a playoff spot.


MONDAY, AUG 27th, 2018 - Rescheduled from Aug. 25
3 PM | Soccer (M)  (0-0-0) vs the Trinity Western Spartans (0-0-0)
Webcast | Live Stats | Tickets  - Free admission

Nonis Field at UBC Okanagan, Kelowna

TUESDAY, AUG 28th, 2018 - Rescheduled from Aug. 26
TBA | Soccer (M) (0-0-0) vs the UFV Cascades (0-0-0)
Webcast | Live StatsTickets - Free admission

Nonis Field at UBC Okanagan, Kelowna

CW Release: Saturday games at Thompson Rivers and UBC Okanagan postponed

Thursday, 23 August 2018 — EDMONTON – Additional Canada West men's soccer regular season games have been postponed this weekend due to smoke from the ongoing forest fires in British Columbia.

Saturday games scheduled to be played in Kamloops and Kelowna have been postponed. Sunday games in both cities remain scheduled, with further postponement possible depending on air quality.

Thompson Rivers in Kamloops was set to play Fraser Valley (1 p.m. PDT) on Saturday, August 25, while UBC Okanagan in Kelowna was originally scheduled to play Trinity Western later that afternoon (3 p.m. PDT).

As of Thursday afternoon, air quality in Kamloops was rated as 10+ on Environment Canada's Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), while air quality in Kelowna was rated as 10.

The status of Sunday's games – TWU vs. TRU (1 p.m. PDT) and UFV vs. UBCO (3 p.m. PDT) – along with the potential for rescheduling Saturday's games to Monday, August 27, will be discussed by all involved parties Friday afternoon, once weekend air quality forecasts are available.

The Canada West Board of Directors approved a new air quality policy earlier this week, which recommends that members postpone a match if the AQHI is seven or greater. 

Saturday's games in Kamloops and Kelowna are the latest CW games to be postponed due to air quality concerns. Earlier Thursday, the Victoria-UNBC games scheduled for Friday, August 24 and Saturday, August 25 were postponed. 

UBCO Preseason form

The Heat were scheduled to play six different preseason games prior to opening weekend however due to smoke in the Okanagan only three of these were actually played. The first matchup was with Whatcom College from Washington that resulted in a 3-1 victory for the Orcas. This was followed up with back-to-back losses to the TRU WolfPack and the Langara Falcons. Coach Dante Zanatta was pleased with the way the team looked in those early times out

Last year's UBCO finish

The Heat would narrowly miss the post season last fall as their playoff hopes came down to the final weekend of the season. The key to this success was the strength of the goalkeeping of Mitch McCaw and the center back combination of Shaun Pilcher and Hamish Walde. The Heat defense was tied for the best defensive record in all of Canada West allowing just nine goals in 15 games.

UBCO Newcomers

With eight rookies on this year's squad the freshman class will look to make an immediate impact in the Canada West. The group of rookies includes goalie Mircea Gavrila and defender Matthew Brown who both graduated from Semiahmoo Secondary. The midfield trio of Aidan Tuck, Tyler Dhillon and Tali Romero will look to add some depth to the middle of the park for the squad. Three new strikers will be wearing the Heat uniform for the first time this weekend with Mario Stankovic, Owen Spicker and Jayden Jordan all looking to help the Heat attack.

UBCO Players to watch

- Jeevin Kang will look to lead the way for the Heat midfield once again this season as the fourth year management student has 38 career starts since joining the Heat in 2015.

- Kang's midfield partner is playmaker Nikhil Reddy who will look to build open a career-best season in 2017 when he had a goal and six assists in Canada West play.

- Luke Warkentin, returning to the Heat lineup after a year off, is the third year forward from Surrey. In his rookie season Warkentin finished with four goals in 12 matches tops on the squad that season.

UBCO Key losses

- The most notable loss is that of All-Star and record setting keeper Mitch McCaw. The Calgary product would set a new Canada West record last season recording over 600 minutes played without conceding a goal along with a school-record seven shutouts in a season.

Look at the Heat coach

- The 2018 season will be head coach Dante Zanatta's eighth season in charge of the Heat men's soccer program and his fifth guiding the team in the choppy waters of the Pacific Division of the Canada West conference. Four seasons in CW so far and Zanatta has delivered the Heat to the postseason in half of them. In addition to being a Canadian Soccer Association ' A' level coach, Zanatta has taken to building the sport of soccer in the province, enhancing the game this summer by being a key instructor to the coaches of youth soccer across BC.

Scouting the Spartans

TWU Preseason Form

The Spartans have played just two preseason matches so far which included a 3-2 win against Westmont University and a 2-1 loss in Washington to Seattle Pacific.

Last year's TWU finish

It was a strong 2017 campaign for Trinity Western last season as they would finish as the Canada West silver medalists following a 3-2 defeat to the UBC Thunderbirds in the conference title game. The Spartans possessed the second best goal scoring record last season putting up 31 goals in just 16 regular season games.

TWU Player to watch

Joel Waterman will enter his fifth and final season with the Spartans and the slick midfielder with an eye for goal is primed to lead TWU into 2018 with lofty expectations. Waterman missed the first half of last year with an injury, but was remarkable in his return, tallying six goals and adding five assists in just eight regular season games. He followed that up by putting up a goal and two assists in three playoffs games before the defeat to the Thunderbirds.

Overall Head to Head (UBCO v TWU) (3W-4L-1T)

These two teams met twice in 2017 with the Spartans pulling out a narrow 2-1 win in Langly before the Heat captured the second matchup 1-0 thanks to a 70th minute goal from Jeevin Kang.

Scouting the Cascades

UFV Preseason Form

The Fraser Valley team has been extremely busy in preseason with six different matches being played in BC, Washington and Oregon. This included a 3-0 defeat to the SFU Clan who come into the season ranked as the 20th best team in Division II of the NCAA.

Last year's UFV finish

It was a tough 2017 season for the Cascades as they would finish the year with a 4-9-3 record and would miss the playoffs after a 7th place finish in the Pacific Division. The UFV defence was one of the weaker in the conference allowing nearly two goals a game which was near the bottom of the conference ranks.

UFV Player to watch

One of the most highly skilled players on the Cascades' roster the past couple seasons, Jhaj is making a position change, moving further upfield in order to take advantage of his attacking abilities. Formerly a standout holding midfielder, Jhaj will line up at forward where he'll partner with sophomore Parman Minhas to give UFV more offensive punch this year.

Overall Head to Head (UBCO v UFV) (3W-4L-0T)

The Heat have had some success against the team from the lower mainland as they won 3-0 in Kelowna in their last matchup thanks to goals from Sam McDonald, Hamish Walde and Andrei Stalfort.

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