For the second time in as many years, the Trinity Western University women's soccer team has captured the Canada West (CW) championship.
Led by Final Four MVP Natalie Boyd, the Spartans earned their fifth CW title with a thrilling 21 victory over the University of Victoria.
The win at TWU's Rogers Field gives the Spartans the CW No.
1 spot at next week's CIS championship, while the Vikes will go in as CW No. 2, as well as the host.
The championship runs Nov. 8-11 at the University of Victoria.
The Spartans have previously won CW titles in 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011. This marks TWU's fourth CIS appearance in the last five years.
In the championship match, CW Rookie of the Year Krista Gommeringer made the most of her opportunities as she potted both Spartan goals, while Victoria defender Carsen Machin scored the lone goal for the Vikes.
Both were named their team's respective player of the game.
Trinity Western 'keeper Kristen Funk made four saves to earn the win, while Victoria's Stephanie Parker made three saves in the loss.
Each team finished with five shots on target, while TWU had the edge in total shots at 12-9.
With the CW banner on the line and national championship seeding looming, both teams put up a fast, physical, and gritty conference final.
As anticipated, play moved from end to end, through heavy rains as both teams gave no quarter in the battle for top spot in the conference.
Gommeringer opened the scoring in the 25th minute when she intercepted a Victoria pass between the backline, created some space, and sent a hard shot past Parker and into the left side of the Vikes net.
The rookie forward from Calgary notched the Spartans' insurance goal in the 68th minute. Gommeringer took a beautiful pass from midfielder Isabella Di Trocchio to go in alone on the Victoria net. The CW points leader made no mistake as she put the Spartans up by two with 22 minutes remaining.
The Vikes' Carsen Machin was the lone goal scorer for the visitors as she connected on a Mallory Hackett corner kick in the 75th minute to bring the game to a frantic finish.
The game had a lion's share of emotion. TWU received three yellow card and a red card in the 93rd minute, while the Vikes received two yellows and a head coach ejection in the 50th minute.
The Vikes, as CW silver medalists, will re-group for their CIS quarter-final match up this Thursday (Nov. 8) at 7 p.m. against the conference winner from the RSEQ (Quebec), either Sherbrooke or Montreal.
Trinity Western will face the silver medalist of the Ontario University Athletics conference, either Ottawa or Laurier, at 4: 30 p.m. on Thursday.
All games from the CIS national championship, hosted in Victoria at Centennial Stadium, will be streamed live with live stats at cis-sic.ca.
Spartans 2, Regina 0
The Spartans used second half goals by midfielder Natalie Boyd and forward Alicia Tesan to defeat the University of Regina 2-0 in Friday afternoon's first CW semifinal at Rogers Field.
The win advanced the Spartans to Saturday's CW gold medal match, while the loss relegated the Cougars to the bronze medal match.
The Spartans finished the match with an 18-1 edge in shots and a 12-0 edge in corner kicks.
TWU's Kristen Funk earned the shutout win, her 11th of the season, while Regina's Stephanie Possberg made five saves in the loss.