VANCOUVER, BC – The UBC Thunderbirds continued their strong start to the year, picking up wins on Friday and Sunday against the UFV Cascades to push their undefeated record to six games. The ‘Birds were back on the road but continued the strong play showed at home.
Here’s how the games went from this weekend.
Game One: Friday, October 1st
Traveling out to Abbotsford to play at Rotary Stadium, their first match kicked off 5:30 PM sharp. It was the home team that started out of the gates fast, generating most of the early chances as UBC struggled to find their legs. Only some stellar keeping from stalwart Emily Moore kept the game scoreless.
It wasn’t until the 35th minute when off a scramble from a UBC corner did Tess McRae find a little space in the box. Sending a shot into the top right, McRae gave the T-Birds the lead they were looking for.
There were some chances later on, but Cascades keeper Joven Sandhu was equal to the task, tipping a Janika Sangha shot over the bar. The half came to a close with the Thunderbirds regaining control of the match, outshooting UFV 5-3.
The second half however saw the T-Birds sit back a bit, keeping the Cascades at bay. A couple of long-range chances were easily snagged up by Moore as UBC continued to frustrate the UFV offense.
In the end, the Thunderbirds struck once more. Danielle Steer, in a familiar sight, struck a shot that just hit the woodwork. However, the rebound fell right to Sophie Damian who tucked it in without hesitation. The stoppage-time marker was the last goal of the game, as UBC secured a 2-0 win.
This also marked the 5th consecutive clean sheet, the team having not given up a goal since their last preseason outing against the UBCO Heat.
Game Two, Sunday, October 3rd
UBC returned home after the match, being spotted at the football home opener and participating in a coaching session at BC Place on Saturday. However, the T-Birds ventured back out to Rotary Stadium, kicking off the second match of the weekend at 1 PM.
The Cascades again controlled the play in the early parts, but were unable to break down the UBC defense. The ‘Birds bent but didn’t break, with Moore once again keeping everything out of the net. There were excellent crosses swung into the box but nothing came of it for UFV.
As the first half progressed, UBC began to turn the tides of the game. Steer threatened many times into the last 10 minutes of the half, forcing Sandhu to make some fine stops. However, in the 43rd, Steer was not to be denied as she potted in her 6th goal of the campaign, good enough for 3rd in Canada West competition.
Both teams came out ready to play in the second half. The game opened up dramatically as UBC and UFV traded chances. In the 71st, Emma Hooton found herself collecting a Sophia Ferreira free-kick, striking it from long range to give UBC a 2-0 lead.
Though UFV was able to break the clean sheet streak 5 minutes later, with Halle McCambley scoring for the Cascades, the T-Birds held the home side off until the full-time whistle was blown. It was yet another solid victory to push their record to 6-0-0 on the season.
The Thunderbirds return home next week, taking on their Okanagan counterparts on Friday and Saturday. Kickoff against the UBCO Heat is scheduled for 5:30 PM on both days.