Elie Gindo scored the game winner in the 76th minute as the Trinity Western Spartans won in Victoria for the first time since 2009 with a 2-1 victory over the UVic Vikes.
Gindo’s goal broke a 1-1 deadlock as the Spartans bounced back from their first loss of the Canada West men’s soccer season the night before, a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the UBC Thunderbirds.
The Spartans improved to 5-1-0 on the season.
“We had a great response tonight. The boys came out flying and we were all over them in the first half. And we were a bit unlucky to not be ahead going into the break,” said TWU head coach Mike Shearon.
“The second half was more even and we had to continue to work for everything. Which is what we talked about before the game. When you have a setback you half to work super hard to get your ground back.”
The Spartans struck first, scoring in the sixth minute as midfielder Elijah Adekugbe beat his defender and played a dangerous ball into the box that Taylor Johnson was easily able to direct into the net.
The Vikes notched the equalizer in the 26th minute. Paulo Dait took a penalty kick for UVic and while TWU keeper Andrew Hicks made the save, the rebound fell right to Dait who was able to convert on his second chance.
The Spartans had plenty of chances to go ahead and finally did so in the 76th minute.
Off a corner kick, Adekugbe played the ball to to the top of the box to Joel Waterman and the midfielder swung the ball into the box to Gindo, who headed the ball home.
“I’m super proud of the boys tonight. Everyone worked excellently from the back line and Hicks making a PK save and was unlucky on the rebound all the way to the front where Elie Gindo was a beast out there tonight, Elijah and Joel were great. And the two rookies, (Jacob) Low and Johnson were two of the better players on the field, which shows that we have good depth on our team.”
Gindo was named the Canada West third star of the week.
Vikes keeper Noah Pawlowski finished with 13 saves as the Spartans had 24 shots, 15 of them on target.
Hicks made five saves on the six shots on net.
In the UBC game, the host Thunderbirds scored three times in a 10-minute span early in the second half for the 3-0 win.
Kerman Pannu, Lucas Reis and Manraj Bains scored for the second-ranked Thunderbirds.
“They were difficult to break down, but I don’t feel like we played our best game,” Shearon said.
“Part of that is what UBC did to us tonight and part of it is that we didn’t play very well.”
The Spartans return home this weekend for games Friday and Saturday agains the Mount Royal Cougars and MacEwan Griffins, respectively. Both games begin at 7:15 p.m.
With the weekend split, the Spartans moved up two spots in the CIS national rankings, going from eighth to sixth.