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Timberwolves heading 'home' to Fraser Valley

They may be on the road, but many of UNBC's male soccer players will likely feel right at home this weekend.

They may be on the road, but many of UNBC's male soccer players will likely feel right at home this weekend.

The Timberwolves (1-3) are in Abbotsford Friday and Saturday to tackle the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades (1-3) in Canadian Interuniversity Sport Canada West action.

UNBC head coach Alan Alderson plucked eight of his current players from Abbotsford (midfielders Josh McAvoy, James Stephens and starting goalkeeper Ty Venhola), Chilliwack (defenders Connor Noftle and Ben Gosse and forwards Brandon Wallace and Conrad Rowlands) and Langley (defender Dan Goodey and his goalkeeper brother Rob), so they'll have plenty of fan support from friends and family.

"Against UFV, this is the weekend on our schedule we're most looking forward to," said Alderson. "I was UFV's women's coach when we won Canada West and finished third at nationals, and a whole pile of kids on UFV's men's team played for me. It's a big weekend for us. At UBC [last weekend] we had more fans than UBC did and we're expecting a very large crowd at UFV."

The Timberwolves lost both matches against CIS defending-champion UBC in Vancouver on the weekend - a 5-1 loss Saturday and a 3-0 shutout Sunday.

Down 3-1 after the first 45 minutes, UNBC dominated the first part of the second half and eventually Wallace converted on a scoring opportunity on a corner kick taken by Luke Holmes.

"Luke had a fantastic game and he's one of the smallest guys on the team," said Alderson. "I was very happy with the second half of Saturday's game. We made seven subs and the guys competed and it was intense. On Sunday, UBC scored on three set pieces. We were able to do well with an incredibly young roster and a lot of first-year guys against UBC's fifth-year guys. I'm very proud of all the guys who stepped up and played."

Alderson added it can be "simultaneously fantastic and difficult playing against one of the best in the country and North America.

"It allows us to see where we're at and expose any faults. The weekend was fantastic and [we] faced some adversity."

He's confident the team is moving in a good direction and hopes the experience the side is gaining finally translates into results.

UNBC's women (0-2-2) are also in Abbotsford Friday and Saturday to play UFV (3-1) and are also coming off a pair of losses (3-0 Sunday, 5-0 Saturday) against UBC on the weekend.

"The girls are disappointed with the results, but what they took away from it was the speed of play, that we have to be faster and we also had two good games on [artificial] turf which we have to adjust to," said UNBC women's head coach Andy Cameron. "This week in practice we'll make some adjustments and concentrate on the speed of play. We're healthy so that's a positive sign and the team spirit is still high."