The Trinity Western Spartans are on the verge of clinching the Canada West Pacific Division title.
Back-to-back shutout home victories at TWU’s Rogers Field — 1-0 over the fourth-ranked UVic Vikes and 3-0 over the UBC Thunderbirds — improved the top-ranked Spartans to 9-0-1. And with just two regular season games remaining, the women’s soccer has a five-point cushion on second-place University of the Fraser Valley and Victoria.
Against UBC, Jessica King scored in the 28th minute and Krista Gommeringer added a goal in first-half injury time. Vanessa Kovacs tacked on a goal in second-half stoppage time to round out the scoring.
King had the lone goal against Victoria the game before and of her 10 goals, six have been game-winners.
TWU coach Graham Roxburgh thought UBC was the better team in the early going on Saturday.
“It took us a little while to get going, but once we did, we really started to find our legs and pass the ball well,” he said.
“We missed a few chances, which could have made the game a little easier, but any time you can beat one of your cross-town rivals 3-0, that’s a good thing.
“I was really pleased with our corporate effort again, tonight.”
Christina Oliverio stopped the only UBC shot that found the target and made another three saves the night before in the 1-0 win over the Vikes.
The Vikes were the only team TWU had not beaten as they played to a 1-1 draw on the opening weekend of Canada West play back in September.
The lone goal in Friday’s contest came in the 68th minute when Jennifer Castillo sent a long ball over the top of the back line and connected with a sprinting King. The Spartans striker collected the pass and ripped a shot on net from 15 yards out. Vikes keeper Meaghan Storie got her hands on the ball, but not enough to prevent it from getting past her.
UVic out-shot TWU 14-6, including 5-2 on net, in the first half, but Oliverio was up to the task, including a scintillating save in the fifth minute.
“I thought Victoria was probably the better team in the first half and Christina bailed us out with that wonderful save,” Roxburgh said.
The second half saw the Spartans tilt the field in their favour.
Oliverio finished with six saves and now has four shutouts on the season.
The Spartans finish the regular season with a home game against UFV on Friday (5 p.m.) and then a road contest Sunday at UBC.