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UNBC soccer men have playoff hopes

The UNBC Timberwolves hope to replicate this weekend what they did last weekend: sweep a two-game series.

The UNBC Timberwolves hope to replicate this weekend what they did last weekend: sweep a two-game series.

The men's soccer side made history when it beat visiting Trinity Western University twice on its home pitch on the weekend in front of a hometown crowd with 5-3 and 1-0 victories to earn the maximum possible total of six points in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Canada West conference.

The T-wolves will have to play on the road when they tackle the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack Friday and Saturday in Kamloops. With a couple more wins, they'll improve their 3-7 record and move up the ladder in the Pacific Division to conclude their regular season.

Thompson Rivers hasn't won a match yet in eight games, and sits last in the Pacific Division at 0-7-1.

The WolfPack has been shut out in the goal scoring department and has surrendered 22 goals against, compared to UNBC's 12 goals for and 22 goals against.

If UNBC does win its remaining two matches, it will have to wait and see how the remainder of the regular season plays out in the Pacific Division this weekend, as well as the Oct. 17-19 weekend, to see which four sides qualify for playoffs.

Right now, the 8-0 UBC Thunderbirds lead the division, followed by the University of Victoria (6-1-1), UBC Okanagan (4-5-1) and the University of the Fraser Valley (4-4). Trinity Western is in fifth place (3-4-1), one point ahead of UNBC.

"Mathematically we're still in it," said T-wolves head coach Alan Alderson. "We just need some help from other teams. But we have to go out on the road and get six points [ourselves]."

As he's repeated so often this season, Alderson said his young squad - comprised mostly of first- and second-year players - continues to climb a steep learning curve. And they're finally experiencing some success.

"They've gotten better every single weekend, the future is very bright for this team," said Alderson.

UNBC's women will also be in Kamloops for their final matches of the season.

The T-wolves sit in sixth place in the Pacific Division at 0-8-2 with two points.

The WolfPack is right behind them in seventh at 0-8.

UNBC men's goalkeeper Ty Venhola was named Canada West First Star of the Week when he recorded 19 saves, one shutout and a .864 save percentage in the two wins against Trinity Western.