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Kovacs nets pair as TWU through to final four
The Trinity Western Spartans are through to the Canada West final four for a 10th straight year and are just one victory away from qualifying for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships.
The women’s soccer team received a pair of first-half goals from Vanessa Kovacs in a 2-0 Canada West quarter-final victory over the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday (Oct. 26) at Rogers Field on the TWU campus.
“It was a real tough game and credit to Saskatchewan because they played extremely well and extremely physical,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh.
“I thought there was some intelligent play on our side but they didn’t give us as much room out there and it was a battle.”
The Huskies had plenty of early-match possession and had the Spartans under pressure in the first few minutes, but were unable to garner much in the way of quality chances.
And after the first 15 minutes, the Spartans turned the tide.
In the 31st minute, Krista Gommeringer — who was denied on a pair of great opportunities — sent a free kick into the box which found a streaking Kovacs who snuck in all alone in the back door and volleyed the ball home from five yards out.
“I feel I can time her kicks well because she has a sweet spot that comes in back post,” Kovacs said.
Less than seven minutes later, the Spartans doubled the lead on a nearly identical play as Gommeringer curled a ball into the area which Kovacs found and slammed home.
“Obviously those two free kicks were excellent,” Roxburgh said. “Gommeringer’s service was incredible and Kovacs is someone who is going to get on the end of those types of crosses.
“They were well-taken goals and probably calmed our nerves.”
With the two-goal advantage, the Spartans were able to put up a defensive wall, surrendering just one quality scoring chance in the 77th minute which grazed the post.
Goaltender Rachel Bedek made three saves for the shutout.
The win was the Spartans’ eighth straight while also stretching their unbeaten streak to 11 games.
The last team to defeat Trinity Western was the Victoria Vikes and the two teams meet on Friday in Victoria in one of the Canada West semifinals.
The other semifinal pits Alberta versus UBC.
The two winners will play for the Canada West gold medal and both advance to the CIS national championships in Toronto.