If Saturday’s result was any indication, the women’s soccer team is poised for another competitive season. The Clan tied their crosstown rivals 1–1 in their first game against each other in eight years. UBC are currently the defending CIS champs in women’s soccer, whereas in two years prior to last season, SFU only managed a combined total of three wins, making this an impressive performance for the team.
“I thought the girls fought hard,” said Head Coach Annie Hamel after the match. “It’s good for us to play a good opponent to see where we are at and see what we need to work on. I’m just glad that we were injury free.”
The game started off poorly for the Clan. For the opening minutes, UBC had the clear advantage in both possession and chances on goal. In fact, the Thunderbirds had a goal ruled offside just seven minutes into the game. But by the end of the half, SFU found their footing. Allyson Dickson made a great pass to Kaely Biring who couldn’t finish, and Emma Lobo had a chance at the side of the net that was caught by UBC goalkeeper Hannah Boshari.
The second half when the Clan reached the same level as the visitors. Emma Pringle, the new signee from North Vancouver, had a glorious chance to give her team the lead. Sent in all by herself, she mishandled the ball, leaving it to harmlessly dribble to the UBC goalkeeper. A few minutes later, SFU opened the scoring. Off a corner, redshirt senior Olivia Aguiar drove a powerful header right through the goalkeeper’s hands to give the Clan a 1–0 lead.
From there, it was just a matter of SFU trying to hold onto the win. UBC played with a sense of urgency once there was less than 10 minutes to go, and they got their wish. Off of a mistake by Dickson in the box, UBC forward Sydney Jennings calmly side-footed it into the bottom left corner, tying the game up at one.
Afterwards, coach Hamel expressed pride in her side’s performance. “I take from the game that I’ve got a good squad and I have depth. That’s what I found out today, I can rely on all my players. Everybody played today, everybody that was not injured, and we had success whoever was on the field.”
Hamel noted that she “still doesn’t know what her starting 11 will look like,” but stressed that everyone who played during the game impressed her enough to be considered.
SFU’s next game is their home opener, when they play Academy of Art this Friday at 4:30pm.