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T-wolves clinging to faint playoff hopes

UNBC soccer season winding down with final home games this weekend at Masich
21 UNBC Timberwolves at Fraser Valley Cascades women's socer Oct. 17 2021
The UNBC Timberwolves women's soccer team lost 1-0 Sunday to the Fraser Valley Cascades in Abbotsford. The T-wolves will finish off the U SPORTS Canada West season this weekend at home against tje TRU WolfPack.

After a pair of weekend ties with the Fraser Valley Cascades in Abbotsford the UNBC Timberwolves still have a shot at making the U SPORTS Canada West men’s soccer playoffs.

The T-wolves are on the outside looking in, ranked seventh out of seven in the Pacific Division with a 1-4-5 record. Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, UNBC is six points behind the fourth-place Thompson Rivers University WolfPack and only the top four advance to the playoffs.

The good news, from a T-wolves’ perspective, is they play TRU in a two-game set Saturday and Sunday at Masich Place Stadium. UNBC will have to win both games, which would give them the same 3-4-5 record as the WolfPack, but the T-wolves would have the edge based on winning the season series.

The other factor that’s out of the T-wolves’ hands is they’re going to need some help on the out-of-town scoreboard. Fraser Valley (2-3-5, fifth place) is three points ahead of UNBC and UBC-Okanagan (2-4-4, sixth place) is two points up on the T-wolves. Fraser Valley and UNBC-O play each other Friday and Saturday in Kelowna, so much depends on the outcome of those two games.

Sunday in Abbotsford, the UNBC men fell behind 2-0 early in the game. Trevor Zanetta scored in the fifth and 14th minutes and it could have been worse for the T-wolves if not for the play of goalie Daniel Zadravec, who kept his team within striking range despite being outshot 7-3 in the opening 45 minutes.

In the 64th minute, UNBC senior Stu Rowlands made it a one-goal game with his first goal of the season, after taking the feed from Kensho Ando. Prince George product Abou Cisse fired the equalizer in the 88th minute, a goal assisted by UNBC rookie Lois Benquet.

The teams began the weekend with a 2-2 on Friday.

Both games this weekend start at 2:15 p.m. at Masich Place Stadium. Sunday’s match will be the last home game for T-wolves veterans Rowlands, Owen Stewart, Hussein Behery and Alex Nielson.

The UNBC women (1-8-1, sixth place) have bee eliminated from playoff contention. The dropped a 1-0 decision Sunday to Fraser Valley on a rainy day in Abbotsford and will finish off their season Saturday and Sunday against TRU.

The Cascades kept T-wolves goalie Brooke Molby busy in the first half while outshooting UNBC 7-0, but the third-year goalie stood her ground and kept the ball out of the net.

In the 75th minute, Harneet Dadrao’s corner kick landed in range for Alanna Sydenham and she booted it in for the only goal of the game.

The Cascades defeated the T-wolves 2-1 on Friday.

The weekend set at Masich against TRU will be the final games for T-wolves veterans Molby, Madison Doyle, Mikaela Cadorette, Hallie Nystedt, Sonja Neitsch, Sarah Zuccaro, Grace Gillman, and Kierstin Vohar.

Both games start at noon.