VICTORIA – The No. 5-ranked Trinity Western women's soccer team clinched first place in the Pacific Division with a 0-0 draw with the Vikes Friday at Centennial Stadium.
With the tie, the Spartans (10-2-1) extended their Canada West record shutout streak to 10 games and a total of 916 minutes.
Goals were always going to be at a premium in the match, as the game was a battle not only between the two teams atop the standings in the conference but also between two of the stingiest defences west of Ontario.
Combining to allow just thirteen goals against in 26 games played between them, the defences shone once again on the night as the back four for both squads were incredibly hard to break down.
Both Puck Louwes in the Vikes net and Spartans goalkeeper Christina Oliverio (Calgary0 made two saves en route to picking up their ninth and eighth shutouts of the season respectively.
The back-and-forth game was even throughout the night, with the two teams ending the game tied in both shots and corner kicks as well as on the scoreboard.
The Spartans best chance to break the deadlock came in just the 15th minute of play.
Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) got onto the end of a great through-ball and was clear in on net but Louwes came sliding out of her six-yard box to poke the ball off Hutchinson's foot. The rebound bounced out to the edge of the 18-yard box but some brave defending saw multiple Vikes players throw themselves in front of the shot to deflect it away from danger.
The Vikes controlled the ball for much of the contest and that possession nearly paid off in the 57th minute of play.
Fifth-year midfielder Stephanie Badilla Gutierrez was just inches away from getting her foot on a loose ball in the Spartans box, but Kristen Sakaki (Surrey, B.C.) made the desperation tackle to steer the ball clear of danger.
A pair of second half substitutes made an immediate impact on the game for the Vikes. The team from Victoria controlled the game late, sending ball-after-ball into the Spartans 18-yard box but just couldn't get the crucial finishing touch that would send the Vikes to victory.
TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh
"In the end we knew they had to win and so it was always going to be a tricky game but I was pleased with how we defended. A couple times it was in desperation but in the end we got over the line. Our whole back four was really good tonight, especially in the second half when UVic was desperate and trying to press."
• The Spartans haven't allowed a goal since losing 3-0 against Calgary on Sept. 16th.
• The last time the Spartans played the Vikes, it was TWU winning 2-1 at the Spartans Chase Office Field.
• TWU's encounter with UBC Saturday will see the Spartans look to turn the tables on a T-Birds side that has beat TWU 3-0 in each of their last two meetings.
The Spartans will finish their regular season schedule Saturday when they play UBC in Vancouver at 6:30 p.m.