It took until their sixth game of the Canada West season but the UNBC Timberwolves men's soccer team served up the first headache for the coach.
T-wolves coach Alan Alderson was in need of the Advil after Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Trinity Western Spartans at the North Cariboo Senior Soccer League field that dropped his squad to 0-6-0.
"That was a painful, painful game to watch," said Alderson. "It's like we've learned nothing because everything was done poorly. Today was ugly."
Right from the opening whistle, Alderson said it was obvious the T-wolves weren't prepared for a CIS game, let alone one against the eighth-ranked team in the country.
"Five loses, but in those five losses I was actually quite happy with the guys," said Alderson. "Today, I think they got a lesson in what happens if we don't show up and work hard. We were lazy physically and we were extremely lazy mentally. In Canada West you just can't do that because it's horrible."
The Spartans (5-0-1) led 2-0 at the half and expanded their lead to 4-0 before Sourosh Amani, playing centre-back due to injuries UNBC has incurred, saw his persistence paid off with a goal during injury time.
"He has a Dutch background in football and the Dutch are known for their total football, meaning that all their players can play any field position," said Alderson. "Sourash is like that. He would be our best player in any position we put him in, obviously we'd like to put him in the attack because he's an incredibly talented player - he can create goals and he can score them.
"He's not going to play goalkeeper," he laughed.
Amani also scored the T-wolves' goal in Saturday's 2-1 loss to the Spartans. He replaced Logan Phenuff in the back after the second-year defender was forced out of the game after tweaking his already injured ankle.
Phenuff suffered the injury in a multiplayer collision against the Alberta Golden Bears but, Alderson said he was happy to see his defender play a full 90-minute game in the 2-1 loss against TWU.
"It's still very, very fragile," said Alderson. "We were uncertain he would be able to go [Sunday] but he did the warmup OK and then right away there was a tackle and it was [his injured] ankle that took the impact."
The T-wolves are still without middle Alessandro Deviato who will undergo one more test after experiencing chest pain earlier in the season.
Saturday the T-wolves were less than 10 minutes away from their first point of the season when TWU put a perfect header over UNBC keeper Mitch Macfarlane to break a 1-1 tie.
Alderson said he'll be looking for more of the effort he received from the T-wolves in the first five games when the Calgary Dinos and Lethbridge Pronghorns visit the NCSSL field, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, at noon.
"If a team shows up and they give everything they have; the result is the result," said Alderson. "When we're sloppy mentally we're way out of position and when we're way out of position we get exposed big time because we're just not experienced to deal with that."