T-wolves re­turn to a new den

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Cit­i­zen staff

Two games into the U Sports women’s soc­cer sea­son, the UNBC Tim­ber­wolves are be­ly­ing their youth.

De­spite be­ing one of the youngest teams in the league, the T-wolves of­fered up plenty of pos­i­tive signs in their open­ing week­end that they won’t be get­ting pushed around by their Canada West con­fer­ence op­po­nents.

In their first game they earned their first point and very eas­ily could have left Kelowna with a win in­stead of a 2-2 tie – more than dou­bling the UBC Okana­gan Heat in shots and scor­ing chances in their sea­sonopener.

The T-wolves lost the sec­ond game of the week­end 3-1 to Thomp­son Rivers Uni­ver­sity Sun­day in Kam­loops but were never out it, show­ing they have bought into coach Neil Sedg­wick’s plan to keep the ball at­tached to their feet.

They’ll be vy­ing for their first win tonight (6 p.m.) when they host the Uni­ver­sity of Regina Cougars in their home-opener at Ma­sich Place Sta­dium.

“I think we are feel­ing re­ally con­fi­dent,” said T-wolves sec­ond-year de­fender Mikaela Cadorette.

“We came out of the week­end not with the two W’s that we wanted, but know­ing we suc­ceeded in get­ting a lot of lit­tle things done – pos­ses­sion, win­ning balls in the air, and be­ing there as a team for one an­other.

“We are stick­ing to what Neil is im­ple­ment­ing in prac­tice, and we are putting what we prac­tice into play. We are keep­ing pos­ses­sion, we are try­ing to work the ball around and open up spa­ces, rather than a di­rect kick and run game. We are keep­ing the ball, play­ing through, get­ting plat­forms, and pro­gress­ing through each stage of the field.”

Third-year mid­fielder Paige Payne was a beast for the T-wolves in the two games last week­end. The Kiti­mat na­tive scored both her team’s goals in Kelowna and had five shots on goal against TRU.

Regina (1-1-0) kicked off the sea­son last week­end at home, los­ing 2-1 to Man­i­toba fol­lowed by a 2-1 tri­umph over Win­nipeg.

On Sun­day (11 a.m.), the T-wolves host the Saskatchewan Huskies (0-0-2), who tied Win­nipeg 2-2, then played to a 1-1 draw with Man­i­toba on open­ing week­end.

The T-wolves will be play­ing at Ma­sich for the first time this sea­son, mov­ing to the all­weather field af­ter six sea­sons on nat­u­ral grass at North Cari­boo Field.

“We are re­ally look­ing for­ward to play­ing at the sta­dium,” Cadorette told UNBC sports in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer Rich Ab­ney. “The men played there three times last week, and we haven’t had that chance. We want to come out with a bang. We are hop­ing there are lots of fans out, root­ing us on.”

The UNBC men (0-1-2) are still seek­ing their first win of the sea­son and they’ll get just one chance this week­end to break that goose egg when they head to Saskatoon to play the Huskies (2-2-0) on Sun­day start­ing at 10 a.m. PT.

“We have had leads in all our games, and we have let those leads slip,” said T-wolves fourth-year mid­fielder and Prince Ge­orge mi­nor soc­cer prod­uct Liam Ste­wart. “We will learn from that, take the pos­i­tives, and im­prove head­ing into this week­end. We are an adapt­able team, so we match up well against ev­ery­one in the league.”

The T-wolves tied Trin­ity Western 3-3 on Fri­day and lost the sec­ond game of the dou­ble­header Satur­day at Ma­sich Sta­dium 2-1. UNBC started with a 1-1 tie with Vic­to­ria.

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