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T-wolves men draw even with Victoria; Vikes shut out UNBC women

Gysbers finds net for UNBC in front of his home crowd; Spartans will visit T-wolves this weekend at Masich Place Stadium
16 UNBC Twolves goalie Brooke Molby Sept. 11 2021 in Vic
UNBC goalie Brooke Molby was a busy netminder Saturday in Victoria, where she made eight saves in a 5-0 loss to the Vikes.

Two seasons on the sidelines was pure agony for UNBC Timberwolves midfielder Cody Gysbers.

After missing the entire 2019 season with an ankle injury, then sitting out the following year along with his teammates when the pandemic shut down all Canada West soccer competition, Gysbers was anxious to resume his university career on the weekend with the added incentive of playing in his hometown.

The T-wolves opened the season on the road Friday in Victoria and after dropping a close 2-1 decision to the Vikes, they came out even more hungry Saturday to make life difficult for their opponents at Centennials Stadium and found their way to a 2-2 tie.

After more a thousand days between games, Gybers was unable to get on the scoresheet Friday but made the most of a glorious scoring opportunity in the rematch when teammate Hussein Behery was tripped up in the box and Gybers booted in the ensuing penalty shot to open the scoring 17 minutes in.

“Many of us have never played with Cody before, but we were always hearing how good he is. Now we see the leader he is, and the player that he is,” said Behery. “I am sure he is buzzing after scoring in his hometown. I am so happy for him.” 

Behery, a native of Cairo, Egypt who joined the T-wolves at midfield in 2019, kept the pressure on the Vikes and five minutes after the opening goal he just missed with a shot that was deflected at the last second by a Victoria defender over the crossbar. But late in the first half, Behery made it 2-0 when Kensho Ando broke into the offensive zone and passed to Abou Cisse, who fed the ball to Behery for a tap-in.

“That first half, we showed what we were capable of - that goal meant a lot to me, to be honest,” Behery told UNBC sports information officer Rich Abney. “I consider myself an lsland boy, in a way. It is where I spent my first few years in Canada, so it was great. I hope it’s the first of many this year.” 

In the second half, Victoria subbed Harrison Ritter West into the game and the move paid off when he scored twice in seven minutes to deadlock the score in the 63rd minute.

“They showed a ton of character, so props to them,” said Behery. “They pressed us very high. We knew they were going to, but they really could see it was working. It is a learning curve for us. If anything, we are happy it happened early in the season. We know other teams are going to do the same to us, so we hope we can learn from it, and use this moving forward.” 

The T-wolves improved to 0-1-1 and will host the Trinity Western Spartans next weekend in a two-game set Friday and Saturday at Masich Place Stadium. 

Earlier Saturday, the UNBC women lost 5-0 to the Vikes, who also defeated the T-wolves 4-1 Friday.

Tannis McKay and Tess Vande scored five minutes apart to put Victoria ahead 2-0 by the 10-minute mark. Kyra Teetzen scored late in the half and Erin Jensen and Trinity Kettyls contributed second-half goals to complete the rout.

“They were very aggressive and athletic, pressing us high. We tried to adjust, but unfortunately took too long,” said T-wolves fourth-year defender Mikaela Cadorette. “We need to keep our heads up and not give up. I am proud of our three young defenders, Jaslin Mandaher, Kalista Kirkness, and Avery Nystedt, for their willingness to hang in there and battle.” 

THe tree aforementioned defenders are among 21 first-year players on the UNBC roster.

UNBC goalie Brooke Molby, drawing her second consecutive start, made eight saves as UNBC was outshot 21-3. Molby, now in her third season, has made 147 saves for UNBC in her U SPORTS career.

“I think it is hard to put into words what she does for us,” said Cadorette. “She is our rock. A beast in the back. She really is one of the best keepers in our league.

“Brooke battles for every ball, and stays positive through everything. She is so much more than our goalie. She is central to our team. This team doesn’t do what it has done over the years without Brooke.” 

UNBC (0-2-0) will take on Trinity Western next weekend at Masich Place Stadium.