A goal from Jenaya Robertson in the 83rd minute lifted the Trinity Western Spartans women’s soccer team to a season-opening 2-1 victory.
The Spartans — ranked fourth nationally — were in Abbotsford on Friday night at the MRC Sports Complex in Canada West action.
“Playing your cross-town rival there is always a lot of emotion and competitive spirit. This game lived up to its billing,” said TWU coach Graham Roxburgh.
“UFV started well and put lots of pressure on us and were excellent in their aggressive play. I challenged our players at half time to get better.”
The Spartans opened the scoring in the 50th minute when Isabella Di Trocchio converted a penalty kick.
Danica Kump leveled the score for UFV seven minutes later, setting the stage for Robertson’s winner.
Seina Kashima sent the ball through the box that eluded a series of Cascades defender and came to Robertson at the top of the box. She unleashed a shot that found the bottom right corner.
“Jenaya was excellent tonight and as the game wore on she took over the midfield,” Roxburgh said.
“It was good to see how our team managed the ball in the final 10 minutes. In the end it was two good teams battling each other and I’m happy that we were able to come away with the win as it could have gone either way.”
The Spartans fired a dozen shots at the Cascades, nine of which were on net.
UFV had five shots, four of them on goal, with Ally Williamson making three saves.
“I thought we played really well at times, but broke down once or twice, and you can’t do that against a team of the class of our opponent tonight,” said Cascades coach Rob Giesbrecht.
Trinity Western is on the road this weekend with games against the Saskatchewan Huskies on Saturday and Regina Cougars on Sunday.