Women's soccer sets team wins record on Graduating Seniors Night
It was another record-breaking evening for the UBC Okanagan Heat women's soccer team at Nonis Sports Field on Saturday as they set a new team record for most wins in a season thanks to a 5-1 victory over the Lethbridge Pronghorns.
The Heat, who had previously won four games in a season on two occasions, in 2016 and in 2022, set the new program mark in just nine games as they improved to 5-2-2 on the season and remained one point behind Trinity Western (5-1-3) for second place in the Canada West Pacific Division.
Making that night that much more special was they accomplished the feat on Graduating Seniors Night, as the team recognized four athletes prior to the game including Stefanie Young of Kelowna, B.C. In what was potentially Young's final home game at Nonis Sports Field, she played a key role in the success, earning her third hat-trick in the last five games.
With her team trailing 1-0, she started out the scoring for UBCO in the 56th minute as she finished off a penalty kick to tie the game. She would go on to add the third and fourth goals for the Heat as she moved into top spot in all of U SPORTS with 12 goals on the season.
West Kelowna, B.C., native Abigail Taneda scored the eventual game-winning goal after a beautiful run into box, as well as earning an assist on Young's third tally to take home player of the game honours.
Rhema Batchondo of Surrey, B.C., rounded out the scoring as she game off the bench and scored within five minutes of stepping onto the pitch.
Stefanie Young – UBCO
The Kelowna, B.C., native continues to make noise across Canada West and U SPORTS women's soccer as she vaulted ahead of McMaster's Alena Spehar to take sole possession of the U SPORTS scoring race.
Tory Clements – Lethbridge
The fourth-year striker from Edmonton earned her third goal of the season in the 50th minute off a nice header finisher to score the visitors lone goal of the match.
To close out homecoming weekend, the Heat recognized and celebrated the four players who will be graduating at the end of the season. Amanda White (Ottawa), Young, Sophia Pol (Langley, B.C.) and Sonia Sarai (New Westminster, B.C.) were all celebrated and recognized with flowers and a framed picture from their coaching staff.
WHERE THEY SIT
The win was critical for the Heat as it allowed them to maintain their third place ranking in the Pacific Division standings. Meanwhile, the Pronghorns fall to 1-8-0 on the season.
The Heat head out on the road to Langley, B.C., for a crucial showdown with the aforementioned Spartans on Friday, September 29. Game time is set for 6 p.m., and the game can be seen live on Canada West TV.