Spartans knock off country's top team
The Trinity Western Spartans showed they will be a force to be reckoned with this season, stunning the country’s top-ranked team, the Victoria Vikes, 3-1.
The Vikes were at TWU’s Rogers Field last Friday in Canada West men’s soccer action. But thanks to an impressive defensive effort, the Spartans shut down a strong Vikes attack.
“I think it was a complete game for us,” said Spartans coach Pat Rohla.
“I thought from front to back that was the best cohesion and linkage we’ve had in some time.
“We showed them that we could play and emotionally the biggest thing for us is that we believe we can play with them and I thought we did that.”
The result knocked Victoria from top spot while the Spartans went from unranked to eighth.
Trinity Western led 2-0 at the half thanks to a pair of goals from Jason Wiens in the 24th and 25th minutes, respectively.
Spencer Schmidt made it 3-0 in the 66th minute.
“We were patient and we tried to stay poised and we tried to keep possession a little more,” Rohla said. “Rather than just smashing the ball around the field, we just tried to keep the ball more, which kept them out of possession.
“(But) I thought our four players in the midfield won the day. They were just spectacular.”
Victoria’s Craig Gorman converted a penalty in the 89th minute to break Evan Lowther’s shutout bid. The Spartans keeper did make four saves.
Trinity Western was back in action the next night, hosting the Fraser Valley Cascades. And the visitors led 1-0 at the half on a goal from Koby Bryne.
But the Spartans came back on a pair of goals from Jarvis Ambaka to win 2-1 and improve to 3-0-1 in Canada West play.
“Overall that game shows a lot of heart and a lot of courage and a little poise under pressure. That was a real gut-check second half,” Rohla said. “We knew it was going to be about will and it was going to be about battle and heart and courage.
“We needed a game like this where we had to come back from a little adversity. We did that and we showed what we’re made of. We showed that the guys believe in each other and they believe in themselves.”