The UNBC Timberwolves are back on home turf tonight at Masich Place Stadium to take on the defending national university men’s soccer champions.
They’ll face the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack starting at 6 p.m. and again Saturday at noon.
Both teams are looking for their first wins of the season.
UNBC sports a 0-3-1 record, while TRU is 0-4.
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T-wolves: Gregor Smith, forward
While the Timberwolves have struggled offensively out of the gate, it hasn’t been from a lack of effort by fourth-year leader Gregor Smith. The speedy winger has had to play numerous positions for a UNBC side that has started at least six first-year players in every match thus far. Smith is crucial to Steve Simonson’s program and will need to be the connective tissue between a young backline and the offensive attack, especially against a historically stingy TRU side.
WolfPack: Elijah Dos Santos, defender
In his second season with the WolfPack, Dos Santos has established himself as, perhaps, the most important player on Jon Antulov’s roster. While TRU has struggled to score the ball, their defending prowess has carried over from 2022, when they allowed the second-least goals in the conference. The six-foot-four center back has played a major role in that and was impressive in TRU’s run to the national championship. UNBC will need to be aware of the 2022 Canada West All-Rookie Team member.
Quotes from UNBC defender Julian Daduica
On the matchup with the WolfPack
“TRU is very strong defensively. They’re very physical, and they have pace and height all around, so it’s always a difficult game for us. They lost a lot of guys, but they have a lot of newcomers, and we have heard from people around the league that they should have a very strong team this year. Again, very good defensively, and their coach (Jon Antulov) is well organized, so we can expect that from them.”
On both teams struggling to score thus far…
“I think we generated chances, the ball just wasn’t falling into the back of the net, especially the last game against Trinity. We aren’t too worried, we are just trying to keep creating chances and we know it will go in eventually. With TRU not scoring, we saw they had a couple heartbreaking last-minute losses. They are going to be hungry to score goals. I know they have a lot of good attackers, their number nine, and their wingers are good. They are probably in the same boat as us.”
On playing games on home turf…
“Playing home at Masich is definitely really important for us. Having the fans and family out there supporting us. We definitely get a good crowd. We have the tailgate party on Friday night, so hopefully we get a good showing. It definitely helps the confidence, makes TRU a little more nervous, and helps us, so it’s good.”
- Connor Lewis played his 30th career Canada West game last week vs TWU
- Daniel Zadravec needs one win to tie Tyrone Venhola for most Canada West victories in UNBC program history