Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

UNBC Timberwolves women's soccer season over after first-round exit in Canada West Playoffs

Manitoba Bisons turn the tables to beat the Timberwolves
UNBC-UFV-Jones 2 2019 home
Sofia Jones is embraced by her UNBC Timberwolves women's soccer teammates after scoring a goal at home against the UFV Cascades earlier in the year. (via Jess Fedigan)

Same playoff scenario as last season, different result. 

UNBC's women's soccer team was in Calgary this afternoon (Oct. 25) for their first-round playoff matchup against the Manitoba Bisons with the winner moving on to face the Calgary Dinos, but the result didn't come out the way they wanted, suffering a 2-1 loss on less-than-ideal pitch conditions. 

You'll remember the women were matched up in their first-round playoff game last season where the Timberwolves won a thriller in penalty kicks against the Bisons. 

It turned out to be the program's first Canada West playoff win in program history. 

But the tides turned on UNBC this afternoon on a windy affair. 

The first half was controlled by strong winds before Manitoba drew first blood in the 37th minute when Hailey Lavarius made her way into the Timberwolves box before putting the ball behind a diving Brooke Molby to put the Bisons up 1-0.

That lead wouldn't last long, however, as Canada West All-Star Paige Payne would answer for UNBC just four minutes later when a broken play ended up as a goal for Payne to even the score at one.

After the first 45, the Timberwolves now had the wind at their backs which they hoped would be an advantage. 

In the 64th minute, recently dubbed Canada West Second-All Star team member, Mara McCleary had a go from 21 yards out, but rang it off the crossbar. 

Payne had a chance to give the Timberwolves the lead with just 20 minutes left in regulation when she had a blast of her own before Manitoba goalkeeper Alexis Anderson, who was strong all afternoon, made a highlight-reel diving stop to keep the laser of a shot out of the net.

“Their keeper dealt with a lot of the balls really well. She was really confident,” said Payne postgame. “She made a beautiful save, honestly. Good for her, because that was a tough one, and I think she carried that confidence forward.”

The Timberwolves had another chance late in the second chance to put in the game-winner but didn't convert which gave Manitoba a chance of their own just seconds later where they would take advantage with just 20 minutes left.

UNBC keeper Brooke Molby came out of her box and misplayed the ball which landed right at Nicole Davis' feet and she would chip a shot over Molby and into the open net to give Manitoba the 2-1 lead. 

The Timberwolves would pressure the Bisons for the last 20 but were unable to beat Anderson and Manitoba held on to advance, returning the favour of a first-round exit they suffered last season against UNBC.

“We are playing how our program wants to play,” Payne added. “I am very proud of winning the Fair Play Award. We come out of games with our heads held high and I am super proud of our group.”

Manitoba now moves on to play the Calgary Dinos on Sunday (Oct. 27).