“I think as a team we have a lot of quality up front when we go at teams we go at 100 per cent,” said head coach Jesse Symons of the T-Birds attack. “When we have speed going at teams I think it’s difficult to defend.”
“It’s in our hands, we go from beating a team two days ago 5-0 and then we do this -- we got to figure it out,” Thunderbirds captain Karn Phagura said.
After another drawn-out but successful 2-1 overtime win for the Thunderbirds against the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds in Thursday morning’s quarterfinal, UBC couldn’t find the spark in the national semifinals Friday night — falling 2-0 to the Montreal Carabins.
"It's been the story our whole season, you know showing the fight to get back to 2-2 and ... penalties is pretty much a toss-up, so definitely proud of the guys."
The game was also a little different for the T-Birds as played host to stands full of local elementary school students, bringing in an overwhelming amount of UBC pride that MacEwan wouldn’t be able to rise against.
Seeming to sway from power to precision play, the home side would continue to control the Canada West with a straight set win on Friday night — thought it did not come easy.
It wasn't the prettiest weekend for the T-Birds.
“We’re playing better basketball than we did earlier in the year…,” UBC head coach Deb Huband said post-game. “We’ll see what we can do in the post-season starting next week.”
“Our whole team came out with a lot of energy and drive, not letting balls hit the ground, and going after everything.”
"Hats off to them, they played a really complete match and they made us have to be our best today — and we weren't our best."
For the Dinos, it would be their first Canada West title since 2005.
Thunderbirds libero Sam Patko earned the player of the game award, while U Sports rookie of the year Kiera Van Ryk and team captain Alessandra Gentile put in standout performances for the T-Birds.