Vernon products Heat up offence

Vernon soccer products Michelle Smith and Kirsten Dodds chipped in on offence as UBC Okanagan Heat began exhibition play last weekend.

The UBC Okanagan Heat women’s soccer team put in a solid showing in a pair of coastal exhibition college games.

Although they bowed 4-1 loss to the Trinity Western Spartans and 5-3 loss to the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, the Heat proved a challenge for both teams.

In the opening game against the Spartans Thursday in Langley, the Heat showed they are committed to making a mark against such highly developed teams.

The Heat scored their first goal of the week when rookie midfielder Michelle Smith of Vernon headed the ball into the net off a beautiful corner kick from freshman forward, Kristen Dodds, also of Vernon.

The Heat continued to battle throughout the second half regardless of the score, and were pleased with the results.

“I am very happy with our performance today,” said Heat head coach Claire Paterson, after Thursday’s game. “We asserted ourselves physically in the match and frustrated several of their players. This is a game that we should definitely draw confidence from and look to repeat the level of play. “

Friday’s match with UFV Cascades proved promising despite a trying start for both teams as each tried to establish player matchups in the first 10 minutes.

UFV broke the stalemate in the 27th minute when they slotted the ball past UBC’s keeper. Determined to fight their way back into the match, Dodds again showed her strength and tied the game with a strong breakaway.

The Cascades then scored twice, with the Heat answering back two minutes later when Taylor Sarchet, a recent transfer to UBC, scored off a long range shot.

UFV answered with two more goals. Down 5-2 the Heat continued to play hard until the final whistle and were rewarded with another goal in the last moment by Sarchet.

Said Dodds: “I was really impressed with how we held our own against one of the top CIS teams in today’s game. Our hard work resulted in three great goals. The success we’ve had in our preseason will translate well into our regular season and make us strong contenders in the BCCAA.”

The Heat play their first game of the season on the road, Saturday at Douglas College in New Westminster. Their first home game is Sunday, Sept. 18 against Thompson River University WolfPack of Kamloops.