After splitting a pair of road games in Alberta the UNBC Timberwolves men's soccer team still has their eye on a first-ever Canada West playoff spot.
Unfortunately, the T-wolves will need a sweep this weekend at Trinity Western University and some help from the opponents of the Fraser Valley Cascades. If UNBC is still in the running for the playoffs after this weekend they'll have an opportunity to clinch a spot on home turf Oct. 26-27 when Pacific division rivals Victoria Vikes pay their first visit to Prince George.
The Vikes (6-3-1) have locked up a playoff spot already and are in second place, unable to catch the division-leading UBC Thunderbirds (11-1), while the T-wolves (2-6-2) are in a three-way race for the final playoff spot with the Cascades (4-7-1) and the TWU Spartans (3-6-1).
T-wolves head coach Alan Alderson said it's not surprising is in the tough spot its in to earn a playoff berth, after all they're young and it's just their second season in the CIS.
"We're definitely not mature enough as a program to make it easy to make it to playoffs, but the good news is we're good enough that we're definitely in the hunt," said Alderson. "We hope like crazy that we get to that last game of the season at home and it matters. If we can do that we can make it pretty exciting."
The T-wolves played some exciting soccer last weekend, where they picked up a dramatic last-minute 2-1 win in Lethbridge over the Pronghorns (2-8-1) before dropping a 2-1 decision the next day in Calgary against the Dinos (6-4-1) in penalty time.
Saturday, rookie Tofu Fakunle broke a draw in the final minute of regulation to give the T-wolves a well-deserved win over the Pronghorns. Brett Bobier gave the T-wolves a 1-0 lead in the first half, but Lethbridge tied the game 10 minutes later on a goal from Domenic Rigaux.
Alderson said the game in Calgary could've gone either way as both teams created opportunities and had chances to break the deadlock.
"We certainly deserved better," said Alderson. "It you work hard and play with some passion you always give yourself a chance. It was one of those games where the just thing probably would've been for a tie."
Jake Vickers opened the scoring for UNBC in Calgary before Jaron Broom and Kieran Lane-Oppenheim replied for the Dinos.
The T-wolves will be cheering for the Dinos and Pronghorns the next two weekends as the Prairie division teams both play in Fraser Valley this weekend, before hosting the Spartans on the final weekend of the regular season. The T-wolves play at coach Alderson alma mater TWU Friday and Saturday (7 p.m. starts) as they attempt to inch closer to the playoffs and halt the Spartans two-game win streak.
"There's every possibility we can make this a special season," said Alderson. "We're playing well and I fancy our chances if we play with the heart and passion we've been playing with the last couple of games."