NO. 2 SPARTANS CLINCH FIRST PLACE IN PACIFIC DIVISION WITH WIN OVER VIKES

NO. 2 SPARTANS CLINCH FIRST PLACE IN PACIFIC DIVISION WITH WIN OVER VIKES

VICTORIA – The No. 2 Trinity Western women's soccer team clinched first place in the Pacific Division thanks to a 2-0 win over Victoria Sunday Centennial Stadium.

Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) and Jenaya Robertson (Delta, B.C.) scored for the Spartans as TWU improved to 10-0-2 and ensured they will take top spot in arguably the most difficult division in the country.

By clinching top spot, the Spartans not only will host their first round playoff game, but, if they advance to the Canada West Final Six, they would host the tournament at TWU's Chase Office Field.

The win also extends TWU's regular season unbeaten streak to 25 games, dating back to 2015.

The Spartans have now finished first in their division or in the conference in four of the last six years. Prior to 2014, every team in the Canada West conference was in one division.

"I'm very pleased with our performance today," said Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. "I thought we executed our chances really well. Rachel's goal was extremely well taken with a great cross by Seina (Kashima, Burnaby, B.C.). We had a few other chances early and I think maybe we were a little unfortunate not to score the second goal earlier, but I'm pleased we responded at halftime.

"Nicole Bolder (Calgary) gave us some very valuable minutes in the second half and slotted a wonderful ball through to Jenaya for the goal. In the end I thought we were tidy in possession and defended very well. UVic had one good chance when they hit the crossbar, but other than that, I thought we kept most of their chances to the outside."

Trinity Western took the lead six minutes into the game. Kashima whipped in a beautiful cross that caught out the Vikes defence. Hutchinson rose higher than everybody else to nod the ball into the net.
 
The Vikes did their best to battle back but it was always going to be an uphill battle after TWU opened the scoring.
 
The Spartans have the stingiest defence in Canada West. They have allowed just five goals in the 12 games and
 
TWU doubled their lead just minutes into the second half.
 
A loose ball in the Vikes 18-yard box bounced to Robertson who made no mistake in tapping it into the open net.

"Jenaya's work rate was superb," Roxburgh said. "I was very impressed with her ability to battle. Elizabeth Hicks (Surrey, B.C.) had some excellent minutes. (Kristen) Sakaki (Burnaby, B.C.) was fantastic at left back and our defending core was really good."

With a two-goal cushion TWU did well to slow the game down and take the sting out of the contest.
 
The Vikes best chance to score came off of a corner kick in the 62nd minute. Lindsay Machin battled her way through the Spartans defence but her header rang off the cross bar.
   
The Spartans will be back in action Oct. 21-22 when they host the Lethbridge Pronghorns and the Calgary Dinos.

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