LANGLEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western women's soccer team will play in the Canada West final for the seventh time in the last eight years and in the CIS championship for the sixth year in a row after earning both a spot in the national tournament and a place in the conference final with a 2-0 win over Saskatchewan in the conference semifinals on a rain-soaked Saturday at Chase Office Field.
First-year Kristen Sakaki (Surrey, B.C.) scored in the 54th minute and Danae Derksen (Delta, B.C.) tallied an insurance marker in the 65th minute, as TWU extended its season-long undefeated streak to 21 matches, including preseason, regular season and the playoffs.
After numerous first half chances, the Spartans finally broke through less than 10 minutes into the second half when Sakaki volleyed home a Derksen cross. With both momentum and the scoreboard tilted towards the home side, Derksen doubled the Spartans lead, capitalizing on a rebound off an Isabella Di Trocchio (Burnaby, B.C.) shot.
TWU will be aiming for its seventh Canada West championship when they face the winner of the semifinal between UBC and MacEwan. A Thunderbirds victory would set up a rematch of last year's conference championship game, which UBC won 1-0.
Sunday's gold medal match is at 4 p.m. (PT) at Chase Office Field. Saskatchewan will play in the Canada West bronze medal match at 1 p.m. (PT) against the loser of the other semifinal. The top three Canada West teams advance to the national tournament.
For the Huskies, this is the fourth straight year they have lost to TWU in the Canada West post-season and the third consecutive year Saskatchewan has fallen to the Spartans in the semifinals.
Sakaki put TWU ahead when she volleyed home a Derksen cross. Just over 10 minutes later, Derksen scored herself. Di Trocchio (Burnaby) put a shot on net off a Seina Kashima (Burnaby, B.C.) cross and Derksen buried the rebound.
The Spartans had several first half chances, but were unable to convert. Kashima might have had the best chance of the opening half, but Huskies goalie Kyleigh Vause made a diving save in the 17thminute to keep the game scoreless. Vause finished with five saves on the afternoon.
TWU had another close call in the 30th minute when Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) sent a cross into the box, but the offering just eluded the foot of Kashima at the back post.
Late in the second half, Jenaya Robertson (Delta, B.C.) put a long shot that scraped just over the cross bar.
TWU held Saskatchewan without a shot in the second half and outshot the Huskies 15-2 overall.
Spartans goalie Ally Williamson (Langley) only had to make one save to earn the clean sheet.
Game Notes: The Spartans have won the Canada West title in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014...a trip to the national tournament will see TWU looking to make it five straight appearances in the CIS gold medal match...the Spartans have won five CIS national championships, including in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013.