The stats of the past two seasons have been well-documented.
Zero victories, 23 losses, one tie. And, in their winless 2012 campaign, the UNBC Timberwolves scored just one goal.
For the UNBC women's soccer team, those monumental struggles came at the provincial college level. Now, the club is ready to make its debut in the top league in the country, the Canada West Universities Athletic Association. So success this season, said head coach Andy Cameron, won't be measured in wins and losses.
"You can play an almost perfect game and lose," explained Cameron, whose T-wolves will start the Canada West chapter of their existence when they face the University of Winnipeg Wesmen on Saturday in the Manitoba capital. "We're looking at improving as a unit each and every week. We've worked on certain things this week and it will be objective measurements that we'll use from a playing perspective and not so much the win-loss. But of course we're looking to compete, we're looking to get some wins, and obviously the playoffs is what the objective is all about."
In women's soccer, Canada West consists of 13 teams in one division. The top eight will qualify for playoffs.
The T-wolves will play 12 regular-season games, including one on Sunday in Winnipeg against the University of Manitoba Bisons.
Obviously, the Timberwolves will have to find a way to score to have any chance of recording some wins this season. A key player in that regard will be Sidney Roy, a first-year striker from Burnaby. Roy showed the most offensive flair during the team's five-game pre-season against local competition and will have to continue to get the job done around the opposition's net.
"If we're going to get results, we're going to get them as a unit but, at the end of the day, we're going to rely on Sidney to do a fair bit of the finishing," Cameron said. "We'll hope to sort of link through Sydney Wilson, who plays between the front line and the midfield line. And then after that we'll look at trying to get our wingers forward and hopefully they'll contribute a bit."
At the other end of the pitch, the Timberwolves will rely on second-year players Tanya Grob and Sydney Hall to anchor them defensively. In goal, Jordan Hall and Kat Hartwig-Clay will share the chores, while defender Riley Flannagan also has experience as a keeper.
Cameron, hired as head coach in June, said his players aren't overwhelmed by the task of trying to compete in Canada West. One thing the T-wolves may actually have to their advantage is that some of the other teams may fall into the trap of taking them too lightly.
"I'm hoping that they will," Cameron said with a chuckle.
"If we can catch them off guard and get some quick goals and then look after the defensive side of things I think that we can steal some points."
As for the Wesmen, they are also brand new to Canada West this season so Saturday's game will serve as a good measuring stick for both clubs. The Wesmen, however, will go into the match as the favoured club because of the success they have enjoyed the past two seasons in the Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference.
Led by two-time league MVP Sheri Hince, the Wesmen were undefeated in 2010 and 2011 and, last season, outscored the opposition 69-1. Hince, a midfielder, is back with the Wesmen for their first Canada West year.
UNBC's Sunday opponent, the Bisons, limped to a 2-9-3 record last season.
The UNBC men's soccer team opens its first Canada West season tonight in Victoria against the top-ranked University of Victoria Vikes. The game (7:15 p.m. start) can be viewed via webcast at www.uvic.canadawest.tv.