Team BC made a successful start in the women's soccer competition at the 2009 Canada Games with a 4-1 victory over New Brunswick in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, on Monday afternoon.
Looking to defending the gold medal that was won by Team BC back in 2005, British Columbia won their opening Pool A match with two goals by Vancouver Whitecaps Prospects Women's team striker Jenna Richardson and single strikes by Tessa Meyer and Janine Frazao. Olivia Jennings scored for New Brunswick.
In one of the opening games of the women's soccer tournament, it was New Brunswick that took an early lead at Credit Union Place's Eric Johnston Field when Jennings converted a cross from the left to give the Atlantic province a 1-0 lead after just three minutes.
Jennings then had a pair of chances to extend New Brunswick's lead before Team BC levelled matters when Meyer broke through to make it 1-1 on 36 minutes. Jesse Symons' side then took a 2-1 lead into halftime after Richardson converted Jaclyn Sawicki's lay-off following a Carolyn Bell free kick.
After the break, Team BC's fitness and skill started to take its toll on a tired-looking New Brunswick side, with Richardson hitting the post on 64 minutes before scoring her second of the match a minute later, as she converted Sawicki's through ball for 3-1.
British Columbia wrapped up a comfortable three-goal victory on 86 minutes, as Frazao converted on the rebound after Sawicki had initially struck a shot from the edge of the New Brunswick box.
For their efforts, Team BC's Sawicki and New Brunswick goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts were named Players of the Match.
Symons was delighted his side overcame a tricky start to Monday's game. "New Brunswick gave us a difficult challenge in the beginning," said the Team BC head coach. "They were very motivated, but we were fortunate to score a couple of goals to put it back in our hands."
Team BC will complete their campaign in Pool A when they face another Atlantic province in Nova Scotia on Wednesday afternoon.
Since women's soccer was introduced to the Canada Games back in 1993, Team BC has won the gold medal on three occasions (1993, 1997, and 2005).