KELOWNA, B.C. – Two quick goals to start the Canada West women's soccer season, one each for the visiting UNBC Timberwolves and the home UBC Okanagan Heat in the first two minutes, started the match off with a bang. Both squads scored again the second half as the match in Kelowna on the Nonis Sports Field ended in a (2-2) draw on Saturday (Sept. 8) afternoon.
After an interruption filled preseason, for both teams, it was apparent both squads were anxious to play in a full match. UBC Okanagan started quickly down the field, earned a corner, where Ally Ferronato crossed to defender Lindsey Berthelsen who went up and put the header home, in just the first minute of action.
Almost like a tennis match trying to break serve, the Timberwolves, with the possession off the UBCO goal, marched down and scored in the next minute as Paige Payne scored the first of two goals in the match to even the score.
The Timberwolves utilized the talent of striker Payne one more time as she made no mistake in the 59th minute to give the visitors the lead.
The equalizer came for UBC Okanagan with just 15 minutes to play when first year Aurora Gardiner scored in her first Canada West contest. The goal was a first year player connection as Lauryn Padmoroff carried the ball a length through the middle then connected with Gardiner who took advantage of a creeping UNBC keeper, Brooke Molby, and calmly finished for 15 yards out.
Molby made two saves for the T-Wolves, UBCO was backstopped by freshman Emma Terrillon, who was tested five times, and turned three of those away in the match.
The first goal by Payne was off a deep right cross and a missed attempt by Kiana Swift with the ball landing on Payne's right foot she shimmied around the defender and went just inside the right post with a sound strike.
Payne's second goal was on a long through pass by Hannah Emmond who sprung Payne down the left side, once again she clinically finished the play.
Both teams had numerous chances throughout he match. UNBC's Madison Emmond smoked the left post in the 13th minute, and in the second half with the Heat's keeper, Emma Terrillon, straying from her net a UNBC long high ball almost into the back of the net.
All five UBCO corners were dangerous, on top of the goal in the first minute Ally Ferronato was close to scoring herself on the set piece, curving the ball straight in off a corner just nicking the far post and staying out. Just prior to the Gardiner goal the Heat had an outstanding chance as Ferronato, once again, had a free kick inside the 18 yard box but was unable to get it past the UNBC wall to leave the Heat without a shot.
With this being the first match of the season both teams boast a (0-0-1) record on the brand new season.
Coach Craig Smith comments:
UBC Okanagan head coach Craig Smith had mixed emotions about the result after the match but he thought the "Second half was a lot better [we] really started to get control of the game," but added that there were still "Communication breakdowns," mostly due to the strange preseason.
"The girls have not had a lot of time in the preseason because of the smoke [and they are] just getting back on a big field. I'm delighted with them, they are such an amazing group, how much they want to play the game and take control of the ball. I can't ask for anymore then that," finished Smith.
The Heat will stay at home and host the MacEwan Griffins on Sunday afternoon while the Timberwolves travel to Kamloops to play the Thompson Rivers WolfPack at Hillside Stadium. Both of those matches will get underway at 1 p.m. and can be seen live on pay-per-view at candawest.tv.
First year invasion:
Already mentioned that Emma Terrillon, who started in goal for UBCO, as well as Aurora Gardiner and Lauryn Padmoroff, were first year players that saw their first Canada West action in the season's first match. Forward Jessica Ambrosio and defender Maya Lewis made five first years in total, of the 16 that saw action in Kelowna on Saturday.