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NO. 1 SPARTANS SUFFER FIRST LOSS OF SEASON AGAINST MACEWAN

LANGLEY, B.C. – The MacEwan Griffins earned their first-ever win over Trinity Western, as the visitors upset the No. 1 ranked Spartans 3-2, handing TWU is first loss of the year Friday at Chase Office Field.

The Griffins Suekiana Choucair opened the scoring late in the first half, before teammate Brittany Costa doubled MacEwan's advantage in the 53rd minute.

After TWU's Kathryn Harvey (Coquitlam, B.C.) brought the Spartans (4-1-0) back within a goal in the 60th minute, the Griffins Kaylin Hermanutz all but sealed the win for MacEwan (3-1-1) with an 80th-minute marker.

The Spartans Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.) scored her third of the season in second-half stoppage time, but the home side was unable to find the equalizer in the waning moments.

The loss snaps a 13-match unbeaten streak (including playoffs and preseason) at Chase Office Field. Dating back to last year's season-opening loss to UBC, the Spartans had gone 12-0-1 at home.

The first half saw a dominant Spartan team but it was MacEwan getting on the scoreboard first in 45th minute, when Choucair scored her first of the season. TWU's Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.) took three out of the total 11 shots on goal on the Griffin net, most notably in the 25th minute when she tried to chip the ball over keeper Emily Burns, but was denied with an impressive stop from the Griffins netminder.

Burns finished the night with seven saves, while Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.) stopped four of the seven shots she faced.

In the 53rd minute, Choucair took a free kick at the top of the box that handcuffed Sydor, as the TWU netminder touched the ball only to see midfielder Costa find the back of the net it from just a few feet out.

The Spartans found a bit of a rhythm once Harvey buried a loose ball inside the box for her first of the season, but shortly after, MacEwan brought the game to 3-1 when Hermanutz extended their lead.

In the final ten minutes of the game, a last-minute effort from the Spartans saw Kashima convert a cross-box feed from Danae Derksen (Ladner, B.C.) to secure a second goal for the Spartans.

QUOTABLE
TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh
"[Tonight was] frustrating for sure. We got what we deserved. Obviously there were two very silly fouls in my opinion and we played undisciplined at times. But I think looking at our chances, we were unlucky to lose. But I don't think we were unlucky. You make your own luck. To be honest with you, corporately we weren't sharp. They took advantage of some set pieces and poor defensive breakdowns.

On the Key to Bouncing Back for Saturday's Game Against UNBC
"We're going to have to be more mentally sharp and have a commitment to work harder. I just felt like tonight we were flat."

NOTABLE
• The Spartans took 11 shots on goal in the first half and only four in the second half.
• TWU finished with a 17-10 edge in shots and a 9-7 advantage in shots on goal.
• The last time these two teams played was on Sept 24, 2017, where the Spartans won the game 1-0
• With one goal each, TWU's Kashima and MacEwan's Choucair were the MVPs of the game.
• The Spartans last loss was in preseason on Aug. 26 against UC San Diego.
• TWU is now 2-1-1 all-time against the Griffins, including playoffs.

UP NEXT
The Spartans return to Chase Office Field tomorrow night to play the UNBC Timberwolves. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. (PT).

-TW-