Spartans need to win out to keep playing

Trinity Western men's soccer team has climbed back into playoff contention after terrible start to season

Trinity Western Spartans Brayden Gant scored a big goal on Saturday night to earn his team a crucial point in a 1-1 draw with the visiting UNBC Timberwolves. The draw kept the Spartans playoff hopes alive heading into the final weekend of the Canada West regular season.

Win and they are in.

That is the scenario facing the Trinity Western men’s soccer team.

The Spartans kept their Canada West playoff hopes alive with a 3-0 victory and a 1-1 draw over the weekend as they hosted the Northern B.C. (UNBC) Timberwolves in a pair of matches at Rogers Field.

“I thought we were lackluster in the first half but better in the second half and at the end of the day, that point really helped,” said Spartans coach Pat Rohla, following Saturday’s draw.

“We can still write our own story.”

The Timberwolves were ahead 1-0 at the half on Cheona Edzerza’s goal but Brayden Gant scored in the 63rd minute to pull the home side even.

“In the second half, we played with a bit more optimism and enthusiasm and tried t press a bit more,” Rohla said. “And when we did that, it worked.

“But we can’t wait for someone else to carry our baggage; we need to carry our own baggage.

“We are a young team, but we have to realize that when we step on the park, you have an obligation to drive as hard as you can and bring passion.”

In Friday’s game, Jarvis Ambaka scored in the 33rd minute while Denny Serifovic and Nathaniel Turner struck for second half goals in the 48th and 90th minutes, respectively.

The results leave the team with a record of 4-6-2 and 14 points, which is five back of the Fraser Valley Cascades. The Cascades are done their regular season and hold the third and final playoff spot in the Canada West Pacific Division, which means Trinity Western can overtake them with wins this weekend. The Spartans are on the road to play Calgary (6-6-1) and Lethbridge (2-10-1).

The Spartans, who have had a depleted roster all season with injuries, have climbed back into contention thanks to a 3-1-2 record since starting the season with one win in six games.

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