Edmonton’s MacEwan Griffins opened the scoring midway through the first half, but the Trinity Western University men’s soccer team responded with four goals to earn a 4-2 win over the Griffins Saturday at Chase Office Field.
In the first ever Canada West regular season meeting between the two teams, Vito Poletto scored twice while Jacob Low and Elijah Adekugbe added singles as the Spartans cruised to a convincing win.
The victory puts the Spartans at 6-1-1 and keeps them atop the Pacific Division.
TWU’s six wins already betters last year’s win total, when TWU finished with a 5-5-2 record.
MacEwan’s Lahai Mansaray opened the scoring in the 31st minute and Bryce Prochnau tallied in second half stoppage time, but a late first half goal from TWU and three more in the first 20 minutes of the second half secured the win for the home side.
TWU’s Andrew Hicks earned the victory without registering a single save.
MacEwan is now 0-5-1 on the season.
“It was one of those games where MacEwan put up a good fight and the group that we started with in the first half struggled to break them down,” Spartans coach Mike Shearon said. “The things we have been doing well in the last few games, we stopped doing tonight. We didn’t connect our passes. We stopped moving and running and they caught us on the counter. But credit to MacEwan. They ran the whole game.
“In the second half, there are a lot of guys who have been frustrated because they’re not getting the minutes and they went out there and put in a good performance.”
With the Griffins up by a goal, Low turned the game’s momentum towards the home team when he connected on a Caleb Johnson cross, sliding into the box and deflecting it past Griffins goalie Dylon Powley, who finished the night with four saves.
Early in the second half Poletto found a rebound in the box after a shot by Sebastian Wingfield and slipped it in to spark the Spartans good barrage.
Just before the hour mark, Poletto put together a brilliant solo effort as he took on his defender on the right side before placing a perfect shot over Powley to the far top corner.
“It was just quality,” Shearon said.
“He beats a guy and then opens up his hips and then basically chips it to the far side. That’s a goal you see on Saturday mornings. It was fantastic.”
In the 62nd minute, Adekugbe rounded out the Spartans scoring with his fifth of the season, burying a penalty for the second time in as many nights after Aldergrove’s Joel Waterman had been taken down in the box.
Prochnau scored for MacEwan just before fulltime to make it a two-goal outcome.
TWU will now travel to play Saskatchewan Sept. 23 and Winnipeg Sept. 25.
GAME NOTES: TWU had a 16-3 edge in shots, The Griffins’ Graem White was the only player who saw yellow in the match.