Brady Stark | Team Member
Both the men’s and the women’s soccer teams ended their home schedule with results that they should be fairly happy with. Obviously every team wants to go for the win every time, but the competition they both faced dictated that wins were not going to be easy to come by.
The men’s team undoubtedly had their two hardest games of the year, facing off against the number two ranked club in the nation. Previously, the Timberwolves had only managed a 3-0 loss as their best result against the Thunderbirds of UBC since their inaugural season in the CIS; this two-game series would prove to be just as hard a task as previous encounters. The first game was played on a pretty chilly Saturday afternoon at the rotary fields as the two teams made their presence felt early. The Thunderbirds got on the board fairly early, as they had the majority of the possession throughout the game. Despite the lopsided possession, the Timberwolves actually had more solid chances on goal.
Attempts by Wallace, Jubinville, and others either went wide or was stopped by first year keeper Chad Bush. Overall the first half was not indicative of what was on the scoreboard. Most of the fans in the stands thought that the home squad should have at least tied the game up, if not have a lead.
In the second have, the team from UBC showed why they were the second best university club in the nation as they controlled the ball and got a plethora of solid chances on the UNBC keeper Ty Venhola. Ty had a very good bounce-back game against the Thunderbirds, as he was sort of a hopeless wanderer for most of their game against the University of Fraser Valley a week prior. Venhola stood tall in his net and turned aside numerous solid chances by UBC. At one point, the UNBC keeper even made an absolutely spectacular save against one of UBC’s best strikers in Lahken as he dove and stretched out his arm to make the save on a penalty shot. Unfortunately, for Venhola and the Timberwolves, the game ended up being 2-0 for the visiting squad.
Despite the loss, the Timberwolves knew that they could compete with the Thunderbirds going into the next games match. In the next game, the Timberwolves ended up losing by the exact same score, but this time, UBC could thank the referee for helping them with both goals as the Timberwolves luck was not anywhere near the pitch. First, the referee misses an offside call (the linesman’s flag was even up), and then the referee calls a penalty shot against the Timberwolves for a weak tackle by star defender Dan Goodey. Even though it was another hard loss for the squad that has only won one game this season, the boys should be proud of what they accomplished in their last game at home for the season.
Not only was it the last home game of the season for the women’s soccer squad, it was also the very last game for 4 players of the Timberwolves as both Hall sisters, Tanya Grob, and Jo Ribero were playing their last home games ever for the university. It was a frustrating set of games with mixed results from Friday to Sunday. In the first game, the Timberwolves women were absolutely dominant for the first half, the squad was passing well, everyone was sticking to their target assignment, and everything was looking great. The women eventually sniped home a goal in the first half off the boot of star striker Sydney Hall. The game continued 1-0 till the last few minutes of the came when the Pronghorns stormed across the mid-field area and caught a lucky bounce over the head of Jordan Hall to tie the game and leave the field with a draw.
The one thing that must frustrate coach Andy Cameron the most is the fact that the team had their first win in
the bag before the last couple of minutes in the game. Not only is the timing frustrating, the fact that the exact same situation happened in the first game of the season reared its ugly head. The Timberwolves were up 1-0 against the UBCO team with a mere 3 minutes left before they coughed up the lead to end in a draw. If I were Andy Cameron, I
look at the first game and feel proud of the women for 87 minutes out of the 90. The second game of the last home stand was one that the team can really build off of.
Despite playing a very good Calgary Dinos team, the UNBC squad looked very competitive throughout the contest. Timely saves from Jordan Hall made sure that her team was not going to lose their last home game. The women have about half of their games left in the schedule with a majority of them being games that they could win. Look for some fantastic results from this squad being led by the fifth year players wanting to taste post-season action before they hang up their cleats.