Leighton Johnson scored the game’s only goal in the 68th minute to lift the Trinity Western Spartans to a 1-0 victory over visiting Seattle Pacific on Saturday.
It marked the TWU men’s soccer team’s first win of the spring season, as well as the first career victory for new coach Mike Shearon.
Shearon was named head coach in February.
The Spartans are 1-2-1 in the spring season.
“Getting a win today against a team like SPU, who played some good football today, was fantastic,” Shearon said.
“A couple of times during the spring we’ve had opportunities to win games and we didn’t take our chances. Today, we took one in the box, got the goal and managed to hang on and clear the box when we needed to, which is a huge growth step for our team.
“I thought Leighton Johnson was fantastic today. He’s been struggling a bit recently, but today he went out and held up the ball well, scored the goal and kept us in possession. Vaggeli Boucas was a rock at the back.
“He was great in terms of composure and keeping us organized. And really, the back four were all really good this afternoon.”
Both teams had first half chances, but it was TWU’s Andrew Hicks who was the busier of the keepers as he was forced to make a few key saves, including a highlight-reel leaping save midway through the half.
“The save that Hicks made was great in the first half and that kept us in it,” Shearon said.
“The backline held up and Hicksy came up with a big one when we needed it.”
The Spartans women’s team was also in action this week and Danae Derksen’s goal with three minutes remaining helped the team salvage a 2-2 tie with the Western Washington Vikings on Tuesday in Bellingham.
Seina Kashima had the other TWU goal.
“It was a very disappointing start, but I was encouraged by our response and for the next 20 minutes I was incredibly impressed with our poise and our movement,” said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh.
“In the second half, I thought we generated some good chances against a very competitive, well-organized and talented team.
“I was disappointed with the break down that caused their second goal, but once again I was happy to see our team fight back to get the tie.
The team will host Washington State on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and it will the first time an NCAA Division 1 side had played on the TWU campus.
The Spartan men host Western Washington on April 16.