In a span of less than a dozen minutes, the Trinity Western Spartans erupted for four goals, booking a spot in the Canada West Final Four championships in the process.
The men’s soccer team was hosting the Calgary Dinos on Saturday night at TWU’s Chase Office Field, scoring a decisive 6-2 victory in the Canada West quarter-final contest.
The Spartans’ Joel Waterman and Dino’s Bori Falaye exchanged goals five minutes apart in the first half.
But Domenic Poletto, Leighton Johnson with a pair, and Aidan Moore gave the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish as TWU went into the locker room up 5-1.
“I would never have thought we’d be up 5-1 at the halftime,” said Spartans coach Mike Shearon.
“I think (Calgary) tried to stop a lot of the things we normally like to do and instead of trying to force things, we just went for it. The flood gates opened and we just kept going.”
Falaye cut the lead to 5-2 in the 61st minute but Cody Fransen restored the four-goal advantage with a goal in the 82nd minute.
The win advances the Spartans to this weekend’s semifinals which will be hosted by UBC.
TWU faces Alberta in one semifinal on Friday while the host Thunderbirds battle the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in the other.
Only the Canada West champion advances to the U Sports national championships in Kamloops. However, should the WolfPack win the Canada West title, then the second-place finisher would also advance since TRU is already guaranteed a spot as the host team.
The Spartans beat Alberta 2-0 earlier this season, the only loss for the Golden Bears in Canada West play.
The game will also feature the conference’s top two scoring attacks as Alberta had 36 goals during the regular season while the Spartans had 31.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Shearon said. “They’re a quality side, so we need to make sure we are ready to go and that we have a good week of training.”