Trinity Western fourth-year midfielder Jenaya Robertson (Delta, B.C.) scored a pair of second-half goals to lead the defending Canada West champion Spartans to a 3-1 win over Victoria in the Spartans’ home-opener Friday at Chase Office Field.
“”It was a good start to the game,” said Vikes head coach Tracy David. “We played well actually in terms of pressing their back four. I thought we create a lot of chances today and I feel a little but unfortunate to walk away without points. I think it would have been a fair result if we had tied.”
In a contest that marked a rematch of last year’s Canada West championship final, the teams traded goals in the first half – Victoria’s Rachel Baird tallied with a fifth-minute penalty kick and Trinity Western’s Gabi Short (Calgary) equalized in the 33rd minute – before Robertson broke it open with markers in the 52nd and 65th minute.
With Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.) sending the ball into the box off a set piece, Robertson cut through the middle of the box and headed it home for what would prove to be the game-winner. For the fifth-year Kashima, the assist was her second of the night, which made her the all-time Canada West leader in assists, with 29 over her career. She passed former Calgary Dinos star Tessa Miller for top spot in the conference.
Taking over the starting goaltending duties this year, Spartans’ Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.) made seven saves to earn the win. The Vikes’ Puck Louwes, who was a U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian last year, also made seven stops in the loss.
With Victoria pressing early, the Vikes opened the scoring when Baird took advantage of a penalty opportunity, slotting it past a diving Sydor to the bottom left corner. Baird took to the mark after Sydor tripped up Georgia Bignold in the box.
The Vikes were the stronger side early on, but the Spartans pushed back and eventually tied the contest when Short took a well-timed pass from Kashima in the middle of the box and cracked it beyond Louwes into the low left corner.
Early in the second half, the game started to tilt the Spartans way before Robertson put Trinity Western ahead in the 52nd minute. With Kashima sending in a ball from outside the box, Robertson made a nifty run and glanced the ball to the back of the net.
Seven minutes later, Robertson tallied again, jumping on a rebound off a Kashima shot and burying the ball past a scrambling Louwes from just a few feet out.
Sydor was forced to make a couple of saves late as the Vikes pushed back over the final few minutes, but the Spartans held off Victoria down the stretch to seal the win.
Up next the Vikes will head to Abbotsford to play the Fraser Valley Cascades at 5:30 p.m.