Grayson B. Leahy - Heat Sports Information
KELOWNA, B.C. - The UBC Okanagan Heat women's soccer team fell on home turf on Sunday afternoon, as the visiting UBC Thunderbirds took a 2-0 victory at Nonis Field. The T-Birds held the offensive momentum for most of the match, testing Heat netminder Francesca Balletta with shots throughout and netting a goal in each half.
The UBC side, currently sitting in the #3 spot on the most recent USports Top 10, had the stronger attack in a traditionally testy rivalry matchup, forcing Balletta and the Heat defenders to make seven saves. On the other end the speed of the Heat attack never quite found its stride and they weren't able to get one through.
The Thunderbirds (6-1) have now won six straight matches and sit atop Canada West's Pacific Division, the Heat (0-5-1) will head back on the road in search of their first victory with evening matches this Friday and Saturday against Trinity Western and Fraser Valley respectively.
The first goal of the match came off the foot of Jasmin Dhanda in the 23rd minute, her 10th goal of the 2017 Canada West campaign so far, putting her well ahead atop the goal scoring category for the conference. She was able to get around Balletta and place one neatly in the bottom of the net.
The second and final goal of the match came in the 81st minute, as Margaret Hadley netted her third of the season with a shot that beat the Heat keeper to the bottom right corner of the goal after a crafty set piece from a corner by Aman Shergill.
Lindsey Berthelsen early on pushed forward with a scoirng first attacking attempt from UBCO. Just before the end of the first half Maddy Laranjo had a look from the top of the box that threatened to tie the score. In the second half Andrea Stinson with a good through ball set up Laranjo, who was in the box with the ball on her feet only to quickly be swallowed up by three UBC defenders before getting a shot away. Just before the Thunderbirds scored their insurance marker Ally Feronato placed a long range chip that was just saved by the T-Birds goalie.
Shots and Keeper Stats
The Thunderbirds were able to record 13 shots in the game, six in the first half and seven in the second, while holding the Heat to one in the first and four overall. All four of those Heat shots were chances, as UBC keeper Marlee Maracle had to make four saves in the match.
Francesca Balletta made five saves on seven shots on goal against her, including two impressive stops against a clean shot from seven yards out in the first half, and a clear free kick in the second.
The UBC Okanagan Heat (0-5-1) will play next against the Trinity Western Spartans (4-2) in Langley on Friday, September 29. The UBC Thunderbirds (6-1) will face off next against the Grant MacEwan Griffins (4-2) in Vancouver on that same Friday.