VANCOUVER – The No. 8-ranked Trinity Western men's soccer team suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a 3-0 decision to No. 7 UBC Sunday at Thunderbird Stadium.
In a game the marked a rematch of last year's Canada West championship contest, the Spartans were held off the scoreboard for the first time this year, seeing their record to 1-1-1 on the season.
UBC striker Caleb Clarke was a standout in his home debut, playing a big part in all three goals, which included netting his second in as many games to round out the scoring in the 80th minute. Clarke showed great poise in the box, bringing down an up-field pass from midfielder Thomas Gardner and placing the ball into the bottom right corner of the net passed an outstretched TWU goalkeeper Sebastian Colyn (Langley, B.C.).
Colyn finished the afternoon with two saves on the five shots he faced.
It was a complete effort at both ends of the pitch for UBC who set the tone early on home pitch thanks to third-year forward Zach Verhoven's impressive finish to open the scoring in the 15th minute. From 12 yards out, Clarke feathered a pass to the left side of the box for Verhoven who curled the ball into the far-right corner and a 1-0 advantage.
TWU responded with some possession that led to one of their best chances of the night in the 37th minute when Leighton Johnson (Calgary) found room for himself to unleash a quick shot from 22 yards out that zipped just left of the UBC goal.
Minutes into the second half UBC connected on a nice scoring play to increase their lead to 2-0, as Clarke delivered a well-placed long-range cross along the ground from the right flank that was tapped home from close range by midfielder Sean Einarson in the 51st minute.
Down 2-0, the Spartans showed no quit in carrying much of the play with build-up that led to a couple of header chances in the box that went wide. The visitors' best chance of the second half came in the 63rd minute when Jacob Low (Port Moody, B.C.) got on the end of a beautiful through ball but watched his attempt roll across the goalmouth before UBC cleared the danger. The T-Birds sealed the result with Clarke's counter attack tally in the 80th.
TWU Head Coach Mike Shearon
"I thought we were thoroughly defeated today. They took advantage of the mistakes we made, but they're a very good team and I don't want to take anything away from what UBC did to us today. I thought we had a few chances that might have changed the game, but unfortunately I don't think we were super sharp today. We'll have to learn from this effort and get ready for next weekend."
• UBC outshot the Spartans 12-8 and had a 5-2 edge in shots on goal.
• TWU had a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
• The T-Birds beat TWU 3-2 in overtime in last year's Canada West gold medal match.
• The Spartans had beat UBC 2-1 in their last regular season meeting in 2017.
The Spartans are back on the road next weekend when they travel to Prince George, B.C. to play UNBC Sept. 7-8. Kickoff for both matches is at 6 p.m. (PT).