LANGLEY, B.C. – Trinity Western's Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) scored in the 76th minute to lift the No. 5-ranked Spartans to a 1-0 win over Fraser Valley in the Canada West Quarter-Finals Saturday at Chase Office Field.
While the Spartans didn't allow a single shot on net, the Cascades held off the Spartans high-octane offence – one that produced 36 goals in 14 regular season games – until Hutchinson finally broke through. With the ball loose in the box, a hard-charging Danae Derksen (Delta, B.C.) kept it alive just off the end line, sliding a feed to Hutchinson in the six-yard box and TWU's leading scorer in the regular season buried the game-winner from close range.
The win sends the Spartans to the Canada West Final Four. The location of the Final Four and TWU's opponent will be determined after Sunday's other quarter-final contests are completed.
The Spartans were largely in control throughout the contest as they had a 14-4 edge in shots and a 6-0 advantage in shots on target.
TWU's best chance of the first half came in the 25th minute when Amy Gartke (Edmonton) got her head to a cross from in tight, but her offering was stopped by UFV goalie Emily Harold.
With the game waning and the Spartans pressing for a go-ahead marker, Hutchinson finally put TWU on the board, building on her team-leading seven-goal regular season.
Spartans fifth-year goalkeeper Christina Oliverio (Calgary) picked up the clean sheet, while Harold finished with five saves for UFV.
TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh
"I thought we were poor in our decision-making in and around the attacking third. I thought UFV sat deep and looked to hit us on the counter, which probably made it harder to break them down. But I didn't think we were sharp mentally. Credit to them. I thought they battled way more than they did during the regular season games. I didn't really feel like we were getting threatened at goal unless we shut off mentally and made a mistake. But we also didn't generate much.
"Over the last 15-20 minutes, I thought we finally settle down and started having one or two moments with half-chances. I knew it was going to take one chance with someone risking and Danae did that. I thought Danae was excellent in the second half. We had a real good captains performance from Jenaya (Robertson, Delta, B.C.). And I thought our outside backs were tremendous tonight."
• The Spartans are now one win away from advancing to the Canada West championship match for the eighth time in the last nine years.
• In their three meetings this year, TWU outscored the Cascades 10-0.
• Saturday's quarter-final was the first time the Cascades and Spartans had met in the playoffs since the Canada West final in 2014, which the Spartans won 2-1 at home.
• The Spartans have earned a clean sheet in 11 of their last 12 outings.
TWU will await Sunday's results to see who it will play in the Canada West semifinals and where the game will be played. The Final Four will be hosted by the top remaining Prairie Division team. If there isn't a Prairie Division team left after the quarter-finals, TWU will host the Final Four.