Kelowna, B.C. – The Heat men's soccer team could not extend their winning streak on their home turf, playing to a draw with the Saskatchewan Huskies (1-1) on the Nonis Sports Field Sunday afternoon.
The Huskies got on the board first when Jakub Rogowski netted his first goal of the year connecting with a big right-footed shot to the top right corner in the 14th minute.
The match was evened when the home team's lone fifth year player, Shaun Pilcher, scored his second goal in as many matches. Pilcher connected in the 30th minute to put the match at one goal apiece.
The last hour of the match both keepers were tested a few times but neither UBCO's Nicholas Reitsma or Saskatchewan's Greg Buckley would give up the game winner.
In the table:
Playing their eighth match, the Huskies received their first tie of the season. Whereas the Heat have four draws in 10 contests and both teams are outdside looking in on the Canaeda West playoff picture. The top-4 teams from each division make the post season.
With the tie, the Heat set their record at (2-4-4) standing at the sixth in the Pacific division.
The Huskies, in the Prairie Division, hold on to fifth spot with (2-5-1) record.
The hour delay to the start of the match didn't seem to affect either team as much as the weather that rolled in, as the rains started right before the 2 p.m. kickoff and turned the dry field into a wet, slippery turf track.
The Saskatchewan goal came after a bit of buildup as the Huskies worked the left side. Tobias Hyrich-Kruege had space and control on the left side, deep and just outside the 18-yard box, when he slid a pass that the hard-charging Rogowski who one timed it off his right foot that went top right corner, with no chance for a UBCO save.
The Heat's Shaun Pilcher countered with a goal in a free kick opportunity, assisted by Sam McDonald whose headed pass, that was off a Luke Warkentin headed pass, was slide in by Shaun Pilcher in the 30th minute.
In the previous game against MacEwan on Friday, it was Pilcher's header in the second half that gave Heat the crucial lead to secure their victory.
Pilcher, now in his fifth year had played 54 previous matches with just one career goal. The Coquitlam product doubles his career total over the weekend and now has two goals on the season and three in his Canada West career.
The Heat's defence in the second half allowed few Saskatchewan chances as the Huskies sent just five shots away in the second and forced Reitsma to make just one save.
On the other hand, although the Heat had several solid chances forcing Buckley to make three second half stops, as there was times with a lot of action in front of his net.
Nikhil Reddy was particularly effective in penetrating the Huskie defense, he only got three shots away and two that needed to be handled by Buckley, but he also had the ball in dangerous spots but the Huskie Defense shut down the passing lanes for the speedy midfielder.
The Huskies will head to Edmonton to face MacEwan University on Saturday (Sept. 29) with a 12 p.m. MT start time.
The UBC Okanagan Heat will look to improve their record on the road when they travel to Abbotsford to face UFV on Friday night (Sept. 28), kickoff at 6:30 p.m. PT. Saturday night the Heat roll into Langley to take on the Trinity Western Spartans at 7:15 p.m.
~ Steven Lin, Heat Athletics