Spartans win Canada West title in Langley

Trinity Western University is home to a women’s soccer juggernaut.

The Spartans earned their sixth Canada West title on their home turf on Saturday, edging the University of the Fraser Valley 2-1 in the gold medal game at TWU’s Rogers Field.

TWU used another game winning goal from Canada West MVP Jessica King to earn the win, which sends the Spartans as the No. 1 Canada West seed to the CIS women’s soccer championship at Laval University.

The Cascades will go as the No. 2 seed out of Canada West.

The championship is the Spartans’ sixth since joining Canada West in 2001, and their second in three years.

King, a native of Liverpool, England, made it 2-0 for TWU in the 61st minute.

The fifth year forward took a pass up the middle from midfielder Alessandra Oliverio and carried the ball between two defenders to the top of the Cascades’ penalty area.

From there, King launched a perfectly placed ball over UFV’s Kayla Kim and into the top of the left corner of the Cascades’ net.

If not for the fine play of UFV’s Kim, the score could have been quite different.

The Cascades keeper stopped nine of the 12 TWU shots on goal, a number from the middle of the penalty area or closer, to keep the Cascades in the game.

The Spartans looked to have the opening goal in the 11th minutes when Natalie Arnett beat Kim, but the Cascades’ Tristan Corneil was able to clear the ball off of the line to keep the match scoreless.

TWU’s Jennifer Castillo eventually tallied the opening goal in the 24th minute. The fifth year defender converted a rebound off a Spartans corner kick by forward Krista Gommeringer to give TWU a 1-0 lead.

The opening half ended with TWU holding on to a 1-0 lead after having an 8-0 edge in shots on goal over UFV.

The Spartans and Cascades shared quality chances in the second stanza as the two teams finished the half with four shots on goal each.

In the 72nd minute, Fraser Valley’s Shelby Beck got the Cascades on the board.

Beck took a short cross from Corneil and redirected it to the short side to just get past TWU keeper Christina Oliverio as UFV narrowed the margin to 2-1 with less than 18 minutes remaining before full time.

In the 84th minute King found the back of the net again, but she was ruled to be off-side and the goal was waved off.

Down the stretch the two squads exchanged a couple of chances, but would not be able to alter the scoreline as TWU held on for the 2-1 win.

TWU’s Oliverio made three saves to earn the win, while Kim made nine saves for the Cascades.

The two teams open the CIS women’s soccer championship this Thursday, Nov. 6 at Laval University in Quebec City.

Spartans clip Huskies

On Friday, Spartans’ forwardNatalie Arnett scored the lone goal of the match to lead the TWU to a 1-0 victory over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in the opening match of the CW Final Four.

The victory not only sent the No. 2 ranked Spartans to Saturday’s gold medal match, but also punched their ticket for a trip to Quebec City to defend their back-to-back CIS championships.

The loss relegated the Huskies to the bronze medal match.

The lone goal came in the 64th minute when Arnett took a through ball up the middle of the park from midfielder Jenna DiNunzio.

Saskatchewan’s keeper Cara Santaga made a move to come out for the ball, but Arnett beat her to the ball and finished to the right side to put TWU up 1-0.

FINAL WHISTLE: This marks the Cascades’ second trip to the CIS championship, their last one was in 2010.

The Spartans, meanwhile, are making their fourth straight trip to the national championship and have won the last two titles. No CIS team has won three straight titles and TWU is tied with UBC for top spot with five championships each.

Saturday’s game winner was King’s eighth goal of the season.

The last time TWU lost at Rogers Field was Sept 9, 2013, when they were edged 2-1 by Victoria. Since then, TWU has won 15 straight matches. Over the last 34 matches at Rogers Field, TWU is 33-1.

Saskatchewan bronzed

In the CW bronze medal game on Saturday, Jenelle Zapski scored twice in the second half to lead the Saskatchewan Huskies to a 2-0 victory over the University of Alberta Pandas.

The Huskies, who were in their first Final Four in 15 years, claimed their first ever Canada West women’s soccer medal with the victory.

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