Soccer beat Mount Royal and Lethbridge in weekend double-header

The Thunderbirds took down two Albertan rivals over the weekend
The Thunderbirds took down two Albertan rivals over the weekend File Salomon Micko Benrimoh

After kicking off the Canada West season with two consecutive draws, the UBC Thunderbirds secured their first win Saturday afternoon with a 2–0 road victory against the Mount Royal University Cougars.

Fourth-year goalkeeper Emily Moore was tested early, as the Cougars had a few golden opportunities to get on the scoreboard within the first ten minutes of the match. However, it would be the Thunderbirds who would open scoring with Alyssa Hunt converting on a penalty shot after being taken down on a semi-breakaway that resulted in a Cougars yellow card.

The home squad would maintain the majority of possession for the rest of the half but couldn’t find the back of the net again. Moore stayed sharp and broke up a couple of dangerous chances to ensure that the Thunderbirds maintained their lead into halftime.

The second half would start with the Thunderbirds putting a lot of pressure on the Cougars as they tried to double their lead. Danielle Steere almost made it a two-goal game at the 75th minute mark when she managed to get around an aggressive Katrina Greenley, but what looked like a sure goal was blocked by Cougar midfielder Janai Martens. Steere, however, would not be denied again, as she would score her first of the season just three minutes later to put the game away for good.

Following a 2–0 victory against the Mount Royal Cougars the previous day, the Thunderbirds successfully carried their momentum into Sunday’s showdown against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, coming away with a dominant 4–0 win.

The ’Birds came out flying to start the game, pinning the ball in the Pronghorns end for the majority of the opening half. The visiting squad would get on the scoreboard less than two minutes into the match courtesy of an own goal by a ’Horns player during an ill-fated clearing attempt.

Alyssa Hunt would then convert on a penalty kick for the second straight game, doubling the ’Birds lead 27 minutes into the first half. The match would become even more one-sided just minutes before the end of the half when Vanessa Tome scored her first goal of the season after receiving a great through ball from Natasha Klasios, giving the ’Birds a commanding 3–0 lead going into the break.

The second half would be more evenly contested, as both teams traded chances to score. However, the ’Birds would be the only ones to add to their goal total. Nisa Reehal’s great individual effort extended the lead in the 63rd minute, as she sprinted by a few ’Horns defenders and calmly tucked the ball pass a sprawling Chelsey Galbraith.

Both teams will have a few days off before taking the pitch again on Friday, as the ’Birds look to extend their winning streak against the Regina Cougars while the ’Horns look for their first win of the season against the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves.

Men's hockey beat Spartans in exhibition game

UBC's Tanner Faith in action against Trinity Western
UBC's Tanner Faith in action against Trinity Western Aman Sridhar

Friday night at Doug Mitchell Thunderbird arena saw a spirited effort from both the UBC Thunderbirds men’s hockey team and the Trinity Western University Spartans.

The decision fell in favour of the home team with a final score of 5–3 as the Thunderbirds dominated shots on goal 43–20. Despite the Thunderbirds ability to maintain control and constant pressure in the first period, Trinity Western played a relentless game.

The Spartans’ pushback began to be profitable in the second period with two goals coming from Spencer Roberts. In the third period, the Spartans were able to put 13 more shots on UBC goalie Ben Maquignaz, scoring their third goal with just over a minute left in regulation.

Maquinaz, who had struggled after starting in the second period and letting in both of Trinity Western’s goals on just four shots, found more of a groove in the third. He finished the game with 14 saves on 17 shots over the 2 periods he played in after taking over goaltending duties from Thunderbirds starter Rylan Toth.

The ’Birds scored three of their five goals in the second, courtesy of Quinn Benjafield, Colton Kehler and a powerplay goal from Carter Popoff, giving UBC a 5–2 lead.

The eventual 5–3 win is the Thunderbirds’ first of the season, after two exhibition loses to the University of Alberta Golden Bears last weekend. They’ll play two more exhibition games this weekend against the MacEwan University Griffins before starting a new Canada West campaign the weekend after against the Golden Bears.

Men's soccer dominant in win against Lethbridge

File Salomon Micko Benrimoh

The UBC Thunderbirds Men’s Soccer team took to the pitch Saturday evening to get a decisive win against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, bouncing back from a stunning defeat against the UBCO Heat.

The Horns kicked off the game, blanketed by a steady drizzle. The Thunderbirds took initiative early, dominating possession and creating many opportunities off crosses. The first best scoring chance however came from Lethbridge, when midfielder Danilo Morales let loose a thunderous strike that struck the crossbar in the 14th minute.

From that point on, it was all UBC. Their uptempo style wore down the Lethbridge defense. Just a minute later, a brilliant corner delivery by Thomas Gardiner to Jackson Farmer in the box was turned aside by the goalkeeper. Eventually, in the 31st minute, a great through ball by Mitch Piraux sprung Mackenize Cole on a small break, and a clinical finish into the bottom left corner put UBC up 1–0.

Lethbridge’s hard tackling defense drew many fouls, and a penalty was awarded to UBC following a reckless challenge in the box. However, Thomas Gardiner could not convert from the spot, and the first half ended with UBC up by one.

The second half was much like the first, with the Thunderbirds taking the advantage early and never looking back. In the 50th minute, UBC struck the inside of the woodwork twice, still looking for the insurance goal. Eventually, a scramble in the box saw Nick Fussell slot away a goal from his knees in the 52nd minute, giving the Thunderbirds a comfortable 2–0 margin.

The T-Birds kept attacking until the full time whistle, improving their record to 3–1–1 on the season, while Lethbridge fell to 0–5–2. UBC’s next fixtures sees them embark on a tough Alberta road trip, matching up against the MacEwan University Griffins (1–3–2) next Saturday followed by the University of Alberta Golden Bears (1–4–1) on Sunday.