UNBC women re­turn to Ma­sich

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

Two bor­ders away last week­end in Saskatchew­an, they played some of the best soc­cer of their ca­reers and a sin­gle point was their re­ward.

Now the UNBC Tim­ber­wolves will try to pick up where they left off when they host the Leth­bridge Pronghorns in U Sports Canada West women’s soc­cer ac­tion at Ma­sich Place Sta­dium (6 p.m. start).

Af­ter win­ning their first two games of the sea­son, the T-wolves trav­eled to Saska­toon to meet the un­beaten Huskies on Satur­day and ended up los­ing 3-1. They fol­lowed that Sun­day in Regina against the Regina Cougars and came home with a 1-1 tie.

“The games against Saskatchew­an and Regina were our fastest-paced games so far,” said fifth-year T-wolves de­fender Ju­lia Babicz, on unbc.ca.

“It was an in­cred­i­ble matchup against them. Three in­cred­i­ble teams that uti­lized their strengths and looked to ex­pose each other’s weak­nesses. Our con­fi­dence hasn’t dwin­dled as we played our game and we played it well. We had many scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, and how our team cap­i­tal­izes on said op­por­tu­ni­ties for the up­com­ing matches will be the dif­fer­ence maker.”

Babicz, a Prince Ge­orge Youth Soc­cer prod­uct, as­sisted on Paige Payne’s goal Sun­day, which came right af­ter Babicz drilled the cross­bar with a shot at the Regina net.

In tonight’s game the T-wolves (2-1-1, fourth in Pa­cific Di­vi­sion) will be tak­ing on a Pronghorns (0-2-2) team still look­ing for its first vic­tory. Then on Sun­day (noon start at Ma­sich), UNBC hosts the other Cougars of Canada West from Mount Royal Univer­sity in Cal­gary. Mount Royal (0-4-0) faces the first-place Cal­gary Di­nos (3-0-1) tonight.

De­spite the los­ing records of the Al­berta teams, Babicz says there’s no chance the Twolves will be count­ing points be­fore they earn them.

“We ex­pect each of our op­po­nents to have the best game of their life,” she said.

“If we pre­pare that way, per­son­ally and as a squad, we will be ready. The last time we played Mount Royal was two years ago. A lot can change in two years.”

The UNBC men (3-3-1, fifth in Pa­cific) are on the road this week­end in Edmonton. The T-wolves play Al­berta (1-4-1, fifth in Prairie Di­vi­sion) on Satur­day af­ter­noon (1:15 p.m. PT), then take on the McEwan Griffins Sun­day at 1:30 p.m. PT.

The Griffins (1-3-2) host the UBC Thun­der­birds (3-1-1) Satur­day af­ter­noon.

UNBC has won its last two games. The shut out Vic­to­ria 2-0 on the road on Sept. 7, then last Fri­day at Ma­sich handed Mount Royal a 3-2 de­feat – the Cougars’ first loss of the sea­son.

“Our mind­set go­ing into the Al­berta game should be the same as it has been all year – go out and try to put a great per­for­mance on the field,” said UNBC mid­fielder Jonah Smith. “The re­sults against Vic­to­ria and MRU show the strength of the team’s col­lec­tive mind­set, and our abil­ity to thrive in ad­ver­sity.

“The re­sults prove that we can score in big mo­ments and de­fend against dan­ger­ous teams.

“Every­one is ex­cited to con­tinue to build and im­prove on our re­cent suc­cess.”

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