The Trinity Western Spartans punched their ticket to the national championship game thanks to a hard-fought, gritty 1-0 victory over the Victoria Vikes.
“Credit to both teams tonight — they gave everything and played their hearts out,” said Trinity Western coach Graham Roxburgh.
“We knew it was going to come down to one or two chances and we buried our chances and then hung on.”
The Spartans were playing the Victoria Vikes, the host team, in the CIS women’s soccer national championship semifinals on Friday night in the provincial capital.
And the two Canada West rivals — who played less than a week ago in the conference championship game which was won by Trinity Western 2-1 — played a tight, defensive game right from the opening whistle.
Natalie Boyd broke the deadlock in the 36th minute after Jilian Dietrich got in behind the Victoria back four and sent the ball across from the right side and Boyd scored on a diving header.
Kristen Funk made a pair of saves to earn the shutout.
With the win, the Spartans advanced to the CIS gold medal game on Sunday (Nov. 11) at 2 p.m. against the Queen’s Gaels.
The Gaels have won the past two CIS championships (2010 and 2011) , while the Spartans won the top prize in both 2008 and 2009.
Queen’s was the third-place team from the Ontario University Association, but they beat the Atlantic University Sport champion Dalhousie Tigers 2-0 in the quarter-finals and then pounded the OUA champ Ottawa Gee-Gee’s 4-1 in the semifinals.
In the quater-finals on Nov. 8, the Spartans defeated the Laurier Golden Hawks 2-1.
Jessica King scored in the 20th minute and Jennifer Castillo doubled the lead in the 67th minute.
The Golden Hawks’ Amanda Mithrush cut the deficit in half in the 78th minute, but Trinity Western hung on for the win.