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T-Birds dominantly finishes the quarter-final with a win over the Cougars
The T-Birds ended the Friday evening game on their home soil with a convincing 5-0 Canada West quarter-final win against the Regina Cougars. This puts T-Birds closer to defending their U Sports national championship title from 2019.
The T-Birds had some scoring chances in the beginning of the first half, but the Cougars showcased good defense, including the Cougars first-year goalkeeper Allyson Ford.
“We challenged them to come out on the front foot … [T]hey really showed their maturity and overall mindset to go at them and create, score goals, get in the box and it was fantastic to see tonight,” said UBC women’s soccer head coach Jesse Symons.
In the twentieth minute, T-Birds midfielder Sophie Damian received a short through ball from Katalin Tolnai and placed the ball right to the corner of the net that just passing Ford to give the T-Birds a 1-0 lead Ford and gave T-Birds a 1-0 lead.
Carrying on this momentum, Damian sent a short left-footed cross into the Cougars’ area and then the fourth-year forward hammered it just six yards out.
Ten minutes after Steer gave a 2-0 lead for the T-Birds, Steer had another scoring chance ten yards out after Vanessa Tome carried it down and crossed it into the Cougars' zone. This goal marked Steer’s team leading seventeenth goal of the season and tied for first with Montana Leonard from the Calgary Dinos in the Canada West standings for overall points scored in the season.
Although the Cougars started the second half with the T-Birds leading 3-0, the Cougars showed good energy and had some possession in the beginning, but T-Birds did not let them recover, especially the rookies.
Just three minutes apart, first-year centre back Jade Taylor-Ryan and first-year midfielder Aislin Phillips added two more goals to the already impressive lead that the T-Birds had. In the eighty seventh minute, Sophia Ferreira ran up 35 yards and passed it to Taylor-Ryan, who successfully sent a cross bar down and across the goal line.
Then Phillips followed through with a conversion on a 30-yard successful free kick to the top left corner, a solid finish with 5-0 lead.
The T-Birds advances to the Canada West final four and will play against the MacEwan Griffins on Friday.
Men’s soccer advances to Canada West final four
UBC Men’s soccer team’s 2-1 win against the Calgary Dinos on Saturday resulted in advancing to Canada West final four.
It was a nail-biting game though, as the Dinos made some dangerous plays in the late second half in an attempt to come back with a lead.
The scoreless first half consisted of trading possessions, but the Calgary Dinos struck first in the second half, having the ball go right over T-Birds first-year goalkeeper Bennett Mckay.
However, fourth-year defender Jackson Farmer came back three minutes later with a goal to tie the game.
“It was huge. As we go on the game, the tensions get tighter … [and] that goal was super important because it gave us back our momentum that we initially had,” said Farmer.
The momentum had second-year Logan Chung carry a beautiful strike from the top of the 18-yard box and successfully complete it with an additional goal.
The late second half got aggressive for the Dinos as well, as some scoring chances were made by the T-Birds third-year forward Tristan Nkoghe in the 88th minute, but it was denied by the Dinos keeper Jake Ruschkowski. However, it wasn’t enough for the Dinos to come back and the game finished with a 2-1 win for the T-Birds.
Men’s soccer had a tough season this year with multiple draws and inconsistency in the plays, but UBC head coach Mike Mosher credits Farmer’s goal as one of the key factors of their victory on Saturday.
“Thank goodness we got it when we did because the longer it went it would have made it tougher and tougher,” said Mosher.
“We’re now at that stage, whatever happens … the regular season [is] now done, this is a new season.”
The T-Birds will travel to Calgary to play against the host Mount Royal University Cougars on Saturday at 1 p.m. Earning a victory in this match is very important for the T-Birds as it is a qualifier for the conference championship game as well as the upcoming U Sports national tournament.
“We have just gone through so much. We are just getting started, so don’t count us out people that have been watching in the back,” said Farmer.
Men’s basketball defeats the Vikes at home
Two nights after a home opener win against the Trinity Western University, the UBC men’s basketball team, ranked fourth in the Canada West coaches’ preseason poll, beat the University of Victoria Vikes, ranked third, with a score of 94-76.
Brian Wallack, a third-year forward, started with the ball and although he missed his first shot, he quickly put two points on the board with a lay up 22 seconds into the game.
Third-year guard James Wood scored the first three-pointer of the game 45 seconds later to give UBC a 5-0 lead.
From there, the Vikes kept the score close, never allowing the T-Birds to have more than a seven point lead and took the lead with about a minute left in the first period.
However, in the last 2 seconds of the quarter, T-Birds fourth-year guard Triston Matthews scored a three-pointer to finish the quarter with 24-22.
The score remained close throughout the second period, and UVic finished the first half of the game in the lead, 45-41. Fourth-year guard Grant Audu — who would go on to become a point leader of the game with 23 points, alongside Wood — kept the T-Birds in the running, scoring 6 of the 17 points.
The T-Birds came back in the second half. The teams continued to swap leads for the first four minutes of the third period, until Jack Cruz-Dumont, a second-year guard, tied the score to 52-52, with 6 minutes left on the clock.
Although the Vikes tied the score again, 56-56, a little over two minutes later, they were not able to regain the lead for the rest of the game.
Finishing the third quarter with a ten point lead, the T-Birds fed off this momentum to increase their lead in the fourth period.
Within the first 3 minutes, Matthews, Woods and third-year forward Lincoln Rosebush each scored a three-pointer, paired with another layup by Matthews, this gave the T-Birds a 21 point lead over the Vikes.
Despite efforts from the Vikes, T-Birds scored 15 points in the last seven minutes to finish the game with a solid lead.
The T-Birds will host the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades for a double header starting this Friday.
Thunderbird Stay Undefeated with Series Sweep of Griffins
Over the weekend, men’s hockey improved to 6-0 on the season with an impressive series sweep of the Grant MacEwan University Griffins.
On Friday night, the T-Birds came out flying and put the Griffins on their heels right from the opening face off.
Under ten minutes into the opening frame, Chris Douglas received a great pass from Austin Glover in the slot and ripped the puck past the blocker of MacEwan netminder James Porter to put UBC up to 1-0.
Just over a minute later, the T-Bird’s defenseman Jonathan Smart corralled the puck in his own zone before carrying it end-to-end and slipping it past Porter to double UBC’s lead.
Tian Rask would add another T-Birds goal not long after, ending Porter’s night and giving UBC three goals on their first 14 shots.
Former Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick Ty Taylor took to the MacEwan crease for the remainder of the game and was able to keep the game interesting until the final buzzer.
T-Bird’s goaltender Rylan Toth made some big saves down the stretch, and Smart iced the game by scoring his second of the night into the empty net late in the third, giving UBC the 5-2 victory. With the win, the T-Birds clinched the first 5-0 start to a season in the program’s history.
“I just feel like we’re getting started,” said head coach Sven Butenschön. “We don’t care about the five wins [right now], we’re just [focused] on winning tomorrow.”
On Saturday, the T-Birds wasted no time returning to their strong play. Chris Douglas took advantage of a broken play in the Griffins’ zone to give UBC an early lead in the first period.
Later in the frame, Tian Rask continued his impressive season by beating MacEwan goaltender Ty Taylor over the glove, sending the T-Birds into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Tyler Sandhu, Austin Glover and Jack Wismer would each contribute a goal on route to another 5-2 win, improving UBC’s record to 6-0 on the season.
“We didn’t take anything for granted,” said Butenschön. “We respected our opponents the whole way through and we kept playing the game the right way.”
The team will now enjoy a two week break before they head to Edmonton for what is bound to be an entertaining series against the University of Alberta Golden Bears.
“It’s always fun to go up there,” remarked Butenschön.
“They play a fast brand of hockey, and we’re going [to be ready] to fight right off the bat.”
Two close losses for women’s basketball
Following a close 72-68 loss at their home opener on Friday, the T-Birds women’s basketball team, ranked seventh in the coaches’ preseason poll, took on the University of Victoria Vikes, ranked fifth, on Saturday evening.
The T-Birds started strong, with fourth-year guard Kate Johnson scoring a two-pointer in the first ten seconds into the game. Second-year guard Emily Martindale quickly followed.
The Vikes struggled to get the ball in the hoop for the first half of the first quarter, but found their rhythm to finish the period 20-10 after scoring their first two-pointer with 5 minutes left on the clock, setting the score to 12-2.
Hailey Counsell, a third-year guard from Port Moody, was the star of the second half of the first period, scoring ten points, including UBC’s first three-pointer.
The T-Birds remained strong in the second period, but it was clear that the Vikes had found their footing. Both teams scored 21 points, and the scoreboard read 41-31 at the halftime mark.
The T-Birds retained their lead until the Vikes tied the game with 52 points in the last two minutes left in the period. Both teams scored 6 more points in the quarter to finish it with a score of 58-58.
The Vikes took the lead 13 seconds into the fourth period, and scored two two-pointers and a free throw in the first minute for a 63-58 lead. Refusing to give the Vikes a more solid lead, Martindale’s three-pointer and Counsell’s lay up tied the teams at 63-63 with 8 minutes left in the game.
The teams remained close throughout the quarter, but it was clear that the T-Birds were tired, missing 16 shots throughout the period. However, Johnson again tied the T-Birds with the Vikes at 72-72 with 25 seconds left in the game.
Following a missed shot from the Vikes and then a timeout with less than 2 seconds left on the clock, the teams returned to the court.
T-Birds will host the Fraser Valley Cascades this Friday.
UBC Football Comeback Streak Ends with Loss to Dinos
Following two impressive late-game comeback wins in the past two weeks, the Thunderbirds found themselves fighting an uphill battle on the road against the University of Calgary Dinos this past Saturday.
After throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass on their first possession of the game, the Dinos would go on to score seemingly at will to put UBC at a 25-0 deficit at the end of the first-quarter.
This rough start was ultimately insurmountable for UBC, as they would go on to put up only 14 points for the remainder of the game, while Calgary would go on to score another 28 points to end the game 53-14 for the Dinos.
The story of the game was the Dinos’ dominant offence. Finding success both in the air and on the ground, the Dinos torched the UBC defence early and often — a surprise considering the clutch play of the T-Birds’ defence in the previous two games.
While it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for UBC at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, the T-Birds’ offence did put up a fight with their rushing game. UBC’s offensive-line did well, opening lanes for running-backs Dane Kapler and Isaiah Knight to combine for 266 yards.
However, UBC’s offence also had its struggles. Quarterback Garrett Rooker had a particularly tough outing — he was sacked four times and threw two interceptions.
The loss leaves the T-Birds at 0.400, now tied for fourth place in the morass that is the Canada West division. If they hope to make the playoffs this November, the T-Birds will need to respond to this loss the same way they did to their first two losses at the start of the season — with a clutch win against Alberta on November 6.
Women’s hockey continues to put on a show
After starting off the season 3-1-0, the UBC women’s hockey team headed off to Edmonton for another doubleheader against the MacEwan Griffins. The T-Birds put forth an amazing effort that fell just short, securing 2 out of the 4 points possible for this weekend.
On Friday night, the T-Birds really overpowered the Griffins outshooting them 10-0 in the first five minutes of play leading to their first goal scored by Shay-Lee McConnell. The scoring didn’t stop there with Chanreet Bassi getting a quick shot on net after a misplay by the Griffins, giving the T-Birds 2-0 lead.
As the T-Birds continued to dominate in the offensive zone, Ireland Perrott got a shot past traffic, rewarding the team with their third goal.
The Griffins responded by making a goaltending change in hopes the veteran goaltender Natalie Bender could help them bounce back.
The T-Birds continued to play their game by setting up plays in the offensive zone, which allowed Hannah Koroll to get the team their fourth goal with a nice shot from the slot.
They extended their lead in the last minute of the game with Chanreet Bassi getting a pass through four of the Griffins players to Grace Elliot to tuck into the back of the net.
Friday night’s game resulted in a 5-0 win for the T-Birds and a shutout for rookie goaltender Elise Hugens.
After a great match for the T-Birds on Friday, the Griffins came back strong on Saturday evening.
The game consisted of ten penalties, five per team which resulted in one goal for the Griffins by Aryn Chambers and two for the T-Birds by Rylind MacKinnon and Ashley McFabben.
For the T-Birds, these would be their only two goals for the night as the Griffins veteran goaltender Natalie Bender took place in the crease making an amazing 41 saves — she was not giving up any easy chances.
The T-Birds topped the Canada West leaderboards in goals and assists. The team will have a two weeks off before facing the University of Alberta Pandas on November 19 at Thunderbird Arena.