WSOC: Timberwolves Fend Off Heat, Double Up UBCO 2-1

WSOC: Timberwolves Fend Off Heat, Double Up UBCO 2-1

Ryan Lepper, UNBC


Fresh off a big victory in their season-opener, the UNBC Timberwolves Women's soccer team continued their winning ways on Sunday, doubling up the UBC Okanagan Heat, 2-1.


"We came in with a clean set, and we cleared our mind," said 2nd-year Paige Payne. "UBCO has a similar mindset to us, and they play similarly to us. We hoped for the best, so to come out of the weekend with six points is great."


The TWolves and Heat traded chances early in the first half, with UNBC's Sidney Roy and UBCO's Cassie Bratton getting the best opportunities to open the scoring.


Good pressure by UNBC in the 25th minute would lead to the first goal of the match, as Paige Payne was setup in the box by Roy, and her shot squeaked into the bottom left corner for her first goal of the season.


"We are goal hungry this year. The way we play, calm and collected, and now we are attacking," said Payne. "We are scoring goals this year and it is exciting to see the hard work pay off."


Minutes later, the Heat looked to respond and came within inches of doing so.  Off a set piece,  Bratton put it towards the net, and thought she had evened the score, but a great boot by Ashley Volk cleared the ball off the line.


"It was just one of those days," said UBCO's Andrea Stinson. "We had a lot of shots. We didn't let them out of their half much, but just one of those days."


Just two minutes before halftime, the Timberwolves doubled their lead on a brilliant shot from 4th-year Madison Emmond. The Prince George product fired from 30 yard out, beating UBCO keeper Francesca Balletta.


The Heat came out firing in the second half, but Brooke Molby, making her Timberwolves debut, made a pair of huge saves  within the first 15 minutes.


"It was definitely stressful, but I took a few touches early, and as the game went along and I got into the groove of it and feel like I did better as the game went along," said the freshman keeper following the game.


UNBC had a chance to take a 3-goal lead in the 65th minute, but Tianna Pius rifled a shot just wide on a tremendous opportunity. 10 minutes later it was Tianna Pius stealing a ball inside the Heat box, but rifled a shot wide right of the goal.


The Heat applied significant pressure the rest of the way, and cut the UNBC lead in half in the 78th minute. Stinson made a brilliant run and fed Susan Traynor, who beat Molby with a shot off the inside of the right post.


Stinson nearly tied the game late, but found the crossbar, and Molby was able to hold the fort the rest of the way. Molby made six saves in her first career Canada West start, helping the  Timberwolved improve to 2-0 on the season.


Stinson says the Heat turned up the pressure, but the Timberwolves were able to bend but not break.


"The first half was a bit iffy, but we turned it around in the second and I think we could have won," said the 5th year. "UNBC did a really good job of switching the play by bringing us to one side and then making us run all the way to the other."


The win moves UNBC to a tie for first in the Division with MacEwan and UBC at six points. Their one goal against is best in the Pacific Division.


The Timberwolves will play host next weekend to Mount Royal on Friday at 5:30pm and Alberta on Sunday afternoon at 1:15. UBCO continues their roadtrip with games against Regina and Saskatchewan next week on Saturday and Sunday.