Soccer men steal three from UBC

By Lawrence Bailey

Maybe David Hernandez should only play on Sundays.

The Spanish striker, dubbed "Réal David" (pronounced Ray-al Da-veed) by former teammate Chris Mauer, stunned the previously undefeated University of British Columbia Thunderbirds by scoring two goals to lead the Dinos to a 3-1 victory. The previous Sunday he notched a hat trick in a loss to the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

However, there’s a day that precedes Sunday, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Saturday was not good to our boys. A lack of concentration coupled with poor execution on set plays resulted in a 4-1 thumping at the hands of the University of Victoria Vikings. It wasn’t the best way to open an important two-game homestand against a duo of Canada West rivals.

"We didn’t defend our own goal," explained Dinos Head Coach
Andy Gibbs matter-of-factly. "We just didn’t concentrate enough in our own box."

Hence the four goals.

Sunday brought a chance for redemption and the soccersaurs capitalized. After falling behind in the 15th minute, the Dinos turned it up a notch by taking the play to the T-Birds. The dominance of possesion finally paid off in the 35th minute when Hernandez converted a cross with a beautiful mid-air scissor kick from six feet out.

Opening the second half even, the play was in the T-Birds’ box for the first 20 minutes. The result–a 2-1 lead on a Brian Newmarch header and another acrobatic marker by Réal David to put the Dinos up by two. Despite late pressure by UBC, the U of C relished the sweet taste of victory for the first time this year.

"The biggest difference between the two games was concentration," said Hernandez, while nursing a mild hamstring pull. "We were just a lot more focused [on Sunday].

"This league is unforgiving on mistakes," explained Gibbs, offering his take on the weekend tilts. "We were unforgiving on them today, yesterday we weren’t. It’s that simple."

The win was huge for the Dinos, who deal with some of the best teams in the nation on a weekly basis in Canada West play. While this results in a gruelling in-conference schedule, Gibbs loves the challenge it offers.

"This is a highly competitive conference. I love it," said Gibbs. "Once we reach the playoffs any of the top four or five teams in Canada West can beat each other."

As the Dinos head to Lethbridge for a game on Sept. 29, they carry the confidence that comes with a dominant rebound victory against the third ranked team in the country.

G-G-G-Goal Notes:

Life after Dinos athletics seems to be a good time. Sun., Sept. 23 at Foothills stadium, former Dinos Wes Montgomery (volleyball) and Chris Mauer (soccer) were seen enjoying the sun and afternoon pitch battles against the University of British Columbia. Montgomery, following a break at the half, settled into two bags of Wendy’s, grinning the entire time.

"I’m not an athlete anymore," he called out to the two-man Gauntlet contingent.

Mauer seems to be enjoying a more relaxing lifestyle as well, as he hinted at tales of drinking and troublemaking while J.P. Khouri (another Dinos soccer alum) laughed mischievously. I always thought athletes missed out as a result of their fitness regimens. I guess it’s more a matter of deferred gratification.

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