The UBC Thunderbirds kicked off last weekend as the seventh-ranked university men’s soccer team in Canada.
Thanks to back-to-back scintillating netminding efforts from UNBC Timberwolves goalie Daniel Zadravec, the mighty T-birds have fallen to No. 10.
Zadravec, the Canada West male soccer player of the week, stole the spotlight on the field in Vancouver in the two-game Canada West series against UBC. On Friday he stopped six of seven shots to help nail down a 2-1 victory. Then in the rematch Saturday he was flawless, making 14 saves to preserve a scoreless draw for his fifth shutout of the season.
After taking four of a possible six points against a top-notch opponent, the T-wolves (6-4-2, third in Pacific Division) are off to their best start since they joined the league in 2012. Just two Canada West teams – Thompson Rivers of Kamloops and undefeated Mount Royal of Calgary, have more win than UNBC.
The T-wolves head into a bye weekend with fourth-year striker Michael Henman leading the league in goals (16) and points (17). In 11 games, Henman has four hat tricks and three game-winning goals.
Down to their last four games, the T-wolves are back in action Oct. 15-16 at Masich Place Stadium, where they will host the UBC-Okanagan Heat. They will wrap up the regular season Oct. 21 and 23 in Abbotsford against the Fraser Valley Cascades.
The UNBC women (3-5-2, sixth in Pacific) are at home this weekend to take on the Calgary Dinos (6-3-1, third in Pacific) at Masich, Friday and Saturday (both at noon).
Like their male counterparts, the T-wolves are also coming off a three-point weekend roadtrip in which they defeated Fraser Valley 2-0, then tied the second-place Trinity Western Spartans 1-1. The Spartans’ goal came from Makenna Dietrich, the Canada West female player of the week, who also scored twice in a 3-1 win over Calgary.
UNBC is now just one point behind Victoria (4-4-3) for the fourth and final Pacific Division playoff spot. The T-wolves end their regular season at home with games Oct. 14 against Thompson Rivers and Oct 16 against UBC-Okanagan.