VANCOUVER – Fifth year forward Isabella Di Trocchio (Burnaby, B.C.) scored on a free kick in the 68th minute to give the No. 5 ranked Trinity Western Spartans a 2-1 win over the UBC Thunderbirds in Canada West women's soccer action Friday night at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver. The victory improves the Spartans to 9-0-2, while the loss drops the Thunderbirds to 5-2-4 in Canada West play.
Di Trocchio's free kick from 30 yards out in the centre of the pitch sailed over the outstretched right hand of UBC keeper Marlee Maracle and into the top left corner of the Thunderbirds net to seal the game for the Spartans.
"Isabella hit the free kick of her life and what better game to do it, with the cross town rivalry with the game on the line. She slotted it well," commented TWU head coach Graham Roxburgh.
The game winner is Di Trocchio's fifth straight game winning goal for the first place Spartans. The victory is the first for the Spartans at Thunderbird Stadium since a 1-0 win on Oct. 23, 2010.
"It was a game of rivalry and passion, which didn't disappoint. UBC was sharp early and we had to whether the storm. UBC has so many threats and they are all dangerous, but I thought that we dealt with them early," said Roxburgh. "You can't question our character and our fight. We had two or three forays into their end and Isabelle got fouled to get us the free kick. After the goal we defended with desperation down the stretch and I'm really, really pleased and very proud of our team and our character."
"We were bending at times, but you expect that on the road against one of the best teams in the country," added Roxburgh. "We have lots of room to improve and now we have to go to Victoria for a tough match. But I'm really pleased for the corporate effort in the end."
The win puts the Spartans six points clear, 29 points to 23 pointsof UFV, 7-2-2 in the Canada West Pacific standings with three matches remaining. UBC are in fourth place in the Pacific with 19 points on the season.
TWU fifth year keeper Ally Williamson (Langley, B.C.) made seven saves to earn her eighth win of the season, while UBC's Marlee Maracle made two saves in the loss.
The game seemed destined to be a draw after 'Birds midfielder Amelia Crawford hit a half volley from 15 yards into the back of the Spartan goal in the 61st minute. The goal finished off a neat passing play with 'Birds midfielder Reetu Johal.
The marker countered a goal by Trinity Western second year forward Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) in the 31st minute to open the scoring. Hutchinson took advantage of Maracle's miskick and made no mistake driving the ball low into the right corner of the net.
The game was rematch of last year's CIS final, also played at Thunderbird Stadium, which saw UBC claim a 3-0 victory and a national championship. In that same championship Di Trocchio scored from the same spot into the same corner in a 2-0 win over Cape Breton.
UBC will welcome UFV to Thunderbird Stadium tomorrow in another huge Pacific division match-up. While Trinity Western travels to Victoria for a Sunday afternoon match-up with the UVic Vikes.
Match notes: The Spartans have not lost in Canada West conference play since Sept 11, 2015, a 2-0 loss to UBC…TWU has extended their conference unbeaten streak to 22 matches…