Riley Flannagan picked a good time to try a different position.
In her third season of eligibility with the UNBC Timberwolves women's soccer program Flannagan decided she needed a change and is playing defence and not goal keeper for the first time since she played for the PGYSA under-12 Kodiaks. In their first season in the CIS Canada West conference, the T-wolves have faced many challenges including being out scored 0-28 in four games.
"It's nice not taking balls out of my net," said Flannagan.
The T-wolves sport a 0-3-1 record, having dropped three straight games after opening the season with a 0-0 tie in Winnipeg against their expansion cousins the Wesmen.
"It's definitely a different experience," said Flannagan. "It's definitely a lot more running but I'm liking it and I'm enjoying it."
Flannagan is back with the UNBC women's soccer team after taking last season off to focus on her studies in the biomedical health science program. After graduating from D.P. Todd secondary in 2009 she played a full season with the T-wolves but in 2010 was reduced to only two games after suffering an injury.
It wasn't a psychic vision of the upcoming Canada West season that convinced the 21-year-old to return to the T-wolves in a new position, as Flannagan played in the Prince George Women's Soccer Association on defence.
"I was just looking for a change," said Flannagan. "It's nice to be on the field because it feels like you're more in the game."
T-wolves coach Andy Cameron said it's nice to have Flannagan on the back end to help dole out help to this season's keepers Jordan Hall, Kat Hartwig-Clay and Brittany Paul.
"Riley has a good understanding of the defence because of her experience in goal," said Cameron. "She's taken that and stepped into the left fullback position, because she's naturally left-footed, and she's doing really well."
Of the 18 players on the T-wolves 2012 roster the former keeper is one of only three with more than two years experience at the college or university level.
"That just means there's room to grow which just means all those girls with lots of eligibility will have time to grow with the program," she said.
The team will try to score their first CIS goal, and earn their first win, this weekend when they take on the Saskatchewan Huskies and Regina Cougars, Saturday and Sunday respectively, at the North Cariboo Senior Soccer League fields. Game time is noon both days.
"We're keeping positive," said Flannagan about the team's offensive tribulations. "We can only go up."