A win and a tie last weekend for the UNBC Timberwolves on home turf stands as the most productive two-game stretch in their two-season history of CIS Canada West women's soccer.
The T-wolves' 4-0 triumph over the Winnipeg Wesmen last Sunday ended a winless drought that stretched back to their roots in the B.C. college league.
Wins and losses are the usual measuring stick for teams in any league but with the T-wolves (1-7-2) already eliminated from the Canada West playoff hunt heading into their final weekend of the season, there's one statistic that better reveals how much the young UNBC squad has improved.
Last year in 12 games UNBC was outscored 71-6. Through 10 games this season, the count is 21 goals against and eight goals for.
"We're on track to be 50 goals better than we were last season," said T-wolves head coach Andy Cameron. "We're minus-13, compared to minus-65. We're definitely making up ground. Against the bottom eight teams in the league we have had one-goal games or less with every one of them, so we're certainly competing."
The T-wolves wrap up their second Canada West season with a game Saturday in Regina and a Sunday game in Saskatoon. The Regina Cougars (4-5-2) rank seventh in the standings while the Saskatchewan Huskies (7-2-2-) are fourth.
In the Winnipeg game and to a lesser degree, in the scoreless draw with Manitoba, Cameron noticed one element of the the T-wolves' game he hadn't seen all season up to that point -- their finishing touches deep in enemy territory.
"The obvious difference last weekend was we were better in the offensive third and we were creating better chances on goal," Cameron said. "That's the sign of our program getting better. People don't understand that in soccer you have to create a significant number of quality chances to actually score, and we're hoping to get some quality chances this weekend."
Sidney Hall had a breakout game against Winnipeg with two goals and an assist and now leads the T-wolves with five points in 10 games. This is Hall's first season as a striker, having been a backfielder throughout her minor soccer career in Prince George.
"She's learning a new position and it all came together for her last weekend," said Cameron. "She's much more comfortable up there now. Striker is a difficult position and to be able to step in at the university level and give it a go is quite an accomplishment."
Cameron had praise for the T-wolves' other two Sydneys (Roy and Wilson), who each have two goals this season. Wilson won't be available for Saturday's game due to school commitments but plans to fly to Saskatoon in time for Sunday's game.
The UNBC women will continue to train indoors four times per week throughout the fall and winter at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre.