Devon Fleming-Frame’s first career goal as a member of the UBC Okanagan Heat proved to be a big one in more ways than one Sunday in Kelowna.
The Vancouver rookie’s 25-yard pinpoint blast snuck just under the crossbar and proved to be the winner as the Heat grounded the Douglas College Royals 3-0 and clinched a PacWest playoffs berth.
The Heat dominated the majority of the match at Nonis Field, but despite constant pressure from the Heat, Douglas refused to break defensively. Although the Royals surrendered multiple chances to Taylor Sarchet (fifth year, Surrey) and Taylor Candelario (second year, Honolulu), it was scoreless heading into the middle portion of the second half.
In the 65th minute, Fleming-Frame found open space and fired a laser that snuck just over the outstretched arms of the Royals’ keeper and just under the crossbar.
Lindsey Briggs (fourth year, Delta) made it 2-0 shortly after from almost the exact same spot. Michelle Smith (third year, Vernon) put the game out of reach in the 80th minute with a header from 12 yards.
“We got the result today that I would expect,” said Heat head coach Claire Paterson. “I was happy with how the team came to play today. Three great goals; and it was great to see Devon get on the scoreboard with her first career goal.”
While the Heat have secured a playoff berth, they face two big games this weekend in terms of playoff positioning.
The Heat will host both Langara College Falcons of Vancouver and Quest University Kermodes of Squamish, who currently sit third and second, respectively.
The Heat are in a tie-breaker situation with Langara, with both teams at 21 points apiece. Meanwhile, Quest only leads Langara and the Heat by three points at 24 total, and two wins this weekend could vault UBC Okanagan into the second seed.
Sunday’s game will be Seniors Day at Nonis Field, as the Heat will celebrate their departing seniors in the final game of their careers at UBC Okanagan. Both games are scheduled for noon.
Hayley Carlson’s (third year, Red Deer) goal in the 77th minute spoiled Lynnea Yee’s (first year, Surrey) two-goal performance as the Heat salvaged a 2-2 comeback tie versus the visiting Kwantlen Eagles Saturday at Nonis Field.
After an uneventful first half, both teams were off to the races after Mairi Horth (second year, Ladysmith) put the Heat on the board first in the 52nd minute. A nifty through ball by Candelario sent Horth on a breakaway and she buried the shot five-hole on Kwantlen keeper Chelsea Jewell (third year, North Delta).
Kwantlen equalized eight minutes later, with Yee scoring on a scramble in front of the net off a Kwantlen corner. Yee put the Eagles ahead in the 64th minute off some great dribbling that allowed her to gain open space in the Heat area; she buried the shot over the outstretched arms of Heat keeper Christine Tallon (fourth year, Kamloops) to put the Eagles up 2-1.
Despite the score and the minimal time remaining, the Heat remained composed and came right back at the Eagles. Chances by Smith, Candelario and Haylee Lakovic (first year, West Kelowna) had the Eagles reeling, when Carlson finally broke through in the 77th with the equalizer.
In men’s play, Vernon’s Enzo Paal (rookie midfielder) scored twice Sunday as the Heat drew 2-2 with the Royals.
Paal’s first tally was off of a nice give-and-go with forward Austin Jones (fourth year, Vernon). Paal’s second goal came from a header in front of the net off of a corner.
The Heat, who lost 1-0 Saturday to Kwantlen, are now 5-4-3 while the Royals are 7-3-2. Both teams head into the final weekend with their playoff lives yet to be determined.
The Heat host the Falcons Saturday and the Kermodes Sunday (2 p.m.).