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SPARTANS FALL TO NO. 1 THUNDERBIRDS

SPARTANS FALL TO NO. 1 THUNDERBIRDS

LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western men's soccer team was unable to contain No. 1 UBC as the Thunderbirds took all three points Saturday, winning 3-0 at Rogers Field.

The loss drops the Spartans to 3-5-2 on the season and puts TWU's playoff hopes in a precarious position. With just two games remaining, TWU trails UBC Okanagan by two points for the fourth and final playoff spot.

UBC, who was coming off a 2-1 loss to Fraser Valley Friday night, saw Sean Einarsson score twice and Alex Orasa once as the T-Birds got back in the win column and improved to 9-1.

Orasa broke a scoreless tie in the 59th minute, blasting a curling effort past TWU goalie Evan Lowther (Surrey, B.C.) and then Einarsson gave the T-Birds all the insurance they would need, scoring in the 65th and 86th minute.  

"It's a game of mistakes and three mental errors cause three goals," said Spartans coach Pat Rohla. "I thought we played quite well in the first half and limited their chances. I think if we bury a few of our own in the second half that game, that game's over. Once again, it's having that fortitude to bury a team when the opportunity presents itself."

Lowther made seven saves in the loss while UBC's Richard Meister stopped both shots he faced to earn the shutout.

The T-Birds came out pressing in the first half, but the Spartans did well to keep UBC's offence in check.
UBC's best chance of the opening half came off the foot of Niall Cousens, who put a shot on target in the 34th minute but Lowther made a diving save to keep the T-Birds off the board.

At halftime, UBC had outshot TWU 6-0, but the score remained knotted 0-0.

Just over a minute into the second half, the Spartans nearly got on the board when Brayden Gant (Maple Ridge, B.C.) put a header just over the bar in the 46th minute.

Eleven minutes later, TWU nearly broke the deadlock again when Jarvis Ambaka (Maragoli, Kenya) put a header on target in the 57th minute, but UBC's Meister dove to his left and made the stop.

Then the T-Birds went to work.

Orasa opened the scoring when he blasted a shot from the top of the box, curling it through traffic and beating Lowther to the TWU keeper's right side.

Einarsson then got in on the offence with a similar looking goal in which he whipped a shot past Lowther in nearly the exact same spot as Orasa's marker.

UBC's Einarsson put the game away in the 86th minute when he took a brilliant cross in the box and one-timed to the back of the net.

The Spartans have two games remaining on their schedule and will likely have to win them both as they host Fraser Valley Friday and travel to play UBC Sunday.

"Win two," Rohla said when asked about his team's mindset moving forward. "That's all we can do. We'll take the first half and see if we can improve on it. We're not asking for favours. We're just going to go out and win our last two and keep going."

The T-Birds are in Victoria Friday and then return home for Sunday's rematch with TWU.

Game Notes: TWU was whistled for 12 fouls compared to UBC's five…Vito Poletto (Calgary) returned to the Spartans lineup after he was suspended for Friday's game following a previously acquired red card.

-TW-