The UNBC Timberwolves women's soccer team is about to share in a part of history.
When the Timberwolves and University of Victoria Vikes square off at North Cariboo Fields today, they'll be playing the first-ever Canadian Interuniversity Sport regular-season game, in any sport, in Prince George.
Kick-off is at noon.
"I feel pretty honoured to be able to say I'm part of the team that was the first team to host a game in CIS but it's very nerve-wracking because I don't know how it's going to go," said Georgia Lahti, a third-year UNBC defender.
"It's definitely exciting. I'm just a little nervous, especially since we're playing UVic. I believe that they were really good last year."
Yes, they were. In 2011, the Vikes finished fourth in the Canada West conference of the CIS. Their 7-4-3 record earned them the final playoff spot in the 10-team loop and they were ultimately eliminated from the post-season by the Trinity Western University Spartans, who went on to claim the Canada West championship banner.
While the UVic women's soccer program is well-established within Canada West, the UNBC program is in its infancy. The Timberwolves started life at the new level last weekend in Winnipeg, where they drew 0-0 with the University of Winnipeg Wesmen and then suffered an 11-0 thumping at the hands of the University of Manitoba Bisons.
The Vikes, meanwhile, are coming off a 1-1 tie with the University of Alberta Pandas and a 5-0 win against the expansion Mount Royal University Cougars of Calgary.
To give themselves a shot at a victory today, the Timberwolves will have to minimize the number of UVic chances and take full advantage of their own scoring opportunities. Goals have been extremely rare for the T-wolves, who only scored once in their final season at the B.C. college level.
UNBC head coach Andy Cameron said his club appears poised to break the offensive ice.
"We came close in both our games last weekend," he said. "Sidney Roy hit a crossbar in the first game and we had some other chances, and in the second game we missed a breakaway late in the game as well. The chances are coming, and the goal will come. As a team you keep creating chances and sooner or later they're going to go in."
Lahti, who turned 20 on Friday, said last Sunday's lopsided loss to the Bisons served as a reality check for the Timberwolves and she expects the team to be fully prepared for battle today.
"From us tying [the Wesmen], we were all really excited and happy and proud of ourselves, which I think we had grounds to be," she said. "Sunday's game [against the Bisons], I think we just hadn't really leveled out and come to the realization that we had another game to play. [Today], we'll be more level-headed and more ready to play."
The Timberwolves will also be in action on Sunday at North Cariboo Fields. Starting at noon, they'll take on the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, who have a 1-1 record so far. Last weekend, the Cascades beat Mount Royal 3-0 and fell 2-1 to Alberta.