WINNIPEG – Fifth-year forward Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.) curled in a brilliant right-footed strike at the death to give the No. 1-ranked Trinity Western women's soccer team a 1-0 win over Manitoba Friday.
Taking a bouncing ball off a stoppage-time corner at the top left side of the box, Kashima arched her offering up and over the Bisons keeper and into the far corner.
TWU outshot Manitoba 14-6 over the course of the contest, but the Bisons held the top-ranked Spartans (3-0-0) in check for much of the contest, with the visitors needing Kashima's late-game heroics to escape with a win.
First-year TWU midfielder Sierra Halldorson (Winnipeg), who was playing back in her hometown, earned her first assist as a Spartan on Kashima's game-winner.
TWU netminder Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.) came up with a game-saving stop in the 86th minute, snuffing out a chance from the Bisons Amanda Wong to keep the match scoreless.
Sydor finished with two saves on the night, while the Bisons Madison Wilford stopped four the five shots she faced.
Friday's game was a rematch of last year's U SPORTS Championship Quarter-Final match, which saw TWU earn a 4-0 victory in Winnipeg.
TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh
"Seina's goal was a brilliant finish and there was really no chance for the keeper on the play. But to be honest, I thought Manitoba played an incredibly smart game. They made it very difficult for us to threaten them. I thought we were sloppy in possession and I thought we made some very poor decisions in the attacking third. I think our team learned a lesson tonight and in some ways, we got away with one because we just weren't mentally sharp. But credit to Manitoba because they made it very difficult and they compacted the space and were a bit of a threat with their pace in behind.
"I was really impressed with Sierra Halldorson (Winnipeg), who came on and gave us some really good minutes in the second half. Jenaya Robertson (Delta, B.C.) worked tirelessly and Amy Gartke (Edmonton) was awesome. But in the end, sometimes you need to rely on one or two players who can do special things and Seina did that at the death."
• The win extends TWU's winning streak over Manitoba, including playoffs, to 12 games. Over that span, the Spartans have outscored the Bisons 38-3.
• After allowing a goal in each of their first two outings, Friday's contest marked the Spartans first clean sheet of the regular season.
• The last time TWU played Manitoba in a regular season meeting was Oct. 17, 2015, when the Spartans beat the Bisons 6-0.
• The last time TWU played in Manitoba was Sept. 22, 2012 when the Spartans won 4-0.
The Spartans are back on the pitch Saturday when they play Winnipeg at 5 p.m. PT. The game can be seen live at www.canadawest.tv.