Connor Hood - University of Alberta Athletics
EDMONTON – The Trinity Western Spartans captured their first Canada West men's soccer medal since 2008, defeating the Calgary Dinos 4-1 in the conference bronze medal match, Sunday afternoon at Foote Field in Edmonton.
The medal is the first since the Spartans captured four consecutive conference titles from 2005-2008, and also snaps a four game losing skid for TWU in the bronze medal match (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015). With the win, Trinity West also extends Calgary's medal less drought, which extends back to a Canada West silver medal in 2010.
This was also the second consecutive season these two sides have met in the Canada West playoffs, with TWU also earning a 1-0 win in last year's quarter-final.
Joel Waterman, Veggeli Boucas, and Mitchell Urzinger scored for TWU on Sunday, who were also the benefactor of a Calgary own goal in the 57th minute. Michael McKinnon scored the lone goal for Calgary.
The No.4 Spartans opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, as Waterman was on the receiving end of a perfect cross from Vito Poletto, tapping in the volley from five yards out.
Trinity West doubled their lead just five minutes later off the head of Boucas. Leighton Johnson's corner kick was executed to perfection, finding the waiting head of Boucas inside the Calgary box, and into their net soon after.
Calgary, who were starting with a large crop of regular starters on the bench, managed just four shots through the opening 45 minutes.
The Calgary Dinos didn't help their own cause to start the second half, with an own goal giving TWU a three goal cushion. Fifth-year defender Dominick Zator, in an attempt to play the ball back to his keeper inadvertently played it over Colton Borle's head and into his own net.
Things went from bad to worse from that point on, as Urzinger's shot from underneath the crossbar, off a gorgeous play set up by Johnson, gave TWU a commanding and insurmountable four goal lead.
McKinnon gave the Alberta team some life, as he capitalized on a turnover by Spartan keeper Andrew Hicks. But his tally in the 63rd minute was the only offence the Dinos could muster.
Hicks stopped the remaining pair of Calgary shots to seal the three goal win.