Bolder goal helps Langley’s Spartans earn draw with Vikings

TWU coach Graham Roxburgh was happy with his team’s play in its 1-1 deadlock with Western Washington.

First-year player Nicole Bolder scored the Spartans’ lone goal as Trinity Western University’s women’s soccer team played to a 1-1 tie with Western Washington in exhibition action Aug. 20 at TWU’s Rogers Field.

The game marked TWU’s lone home match of its exhibition slate.

The visiting Vikings’ Delanee Nilles opened the scoring in the 28th minute, but it was Bolder equalizing four minutes later to produce the eventual deadlock.

The Spartans are now 1-1-2 in exhibition play while WWU was playing in their first pre-season contest of the 2015 campaign.

“It was a typical pre-season game that had some moments of good soccer but also some scrappy and probably wasteful possession,” said Spartans’ coach Graham Roxburgh. “But both teams battled hard and it was good to get minutes for a lot of girls on both sides. The work rate was good, but in terms of our execution of intelligent decisions or picking the right passes, we have a lot of work to do.”

TWU’s netminder Ally Williamson (a Langley native) made one save to earn the draw for the Spartans, while the Vikings Ashley Haden and Miranda Head shared goaltending duties for the visitors.

Haden started the contest and made one save. Head entered the game in the 60th minute, but was untested.

After a rather uneventful opening 25 minutes, WWU sparked a quicker pace to the contest when Nilles got her head to the end of a Stephanie Hamilton free kick, knocking it past Williamson to the top left corner.

However, in the 32nd minute, the Spartans responded.

Alessandra Oliverio sent a through ball to the foot of Bolder, who swiftly cracked the equalizer to the left corner for her first goal in a TWU uniform.

“I was really pleased for Nicole to get her first goal,” Roxburgh said. “She showed a lot of intelligence and poise on the ball.”

The Vikings’ Savanna Moorehouse had the best opportunity of the second half to yield a winner, but her stoppage time attempt from inside the box curled just over the bar.

TWU had a 3-1 edge in corners, while WWU had eight shots to the Spartans’ six.

“Vanessa Kovacs just continues to do was she does,” Roxburgh said. “She’s a pretty special player. I was also pleased to see that our back four looked fairly comfortable.”

The Spartans will now prepare to travel to Seattle to take on the University of Washington Aug. 30.

The Spartans open their Canada West regular season at home on Sept. 11 against UBC.

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