Even though his side went winless, head coach Andy Cameron considered a weekend of exhibition soccer a successful venture.
Cameron had the UNBC Timberwolves women's team in Kamloops for a pair of games against the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack. On Saturday, the Timberwolves fell 4-1 to their hosts and, on Sunday, they dropped a 3-0 decision.
Sidney Roy was the lone goal-scorer for UNBC.
"We experimented with our lineup, looking forward to next year, and the changes that we made allowed Sid Roy to score the goal that she scored, and she hit two posts on Saturday as well," Cameron said. "The weekend was about measuring ourselves from the winter and then setting ourselves up for September. So even though the results were disappointing we got a lot out of the weekend."
Roy scored on a breakaway. After she got herself into a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, she finished the play with a left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the net.
In Roy's first year with UNBC, she was a centre striker who played up front. As a second-year team member last season, she was in a left forward position. And, on the weekend, Cameron had her back in the middle of the pitch but behind the centre striker where she could lurk in the weeds and pounce on opportunities.
"It has allowed her to get forward and in behind defences," Cameron said.
The Timberwolves will start their third season in the Canada West conference of Canadian Interuniversity Sport in the fall. The WolfPack, meanwhile, will be playing their inaugural Canada West season after moving up from the B.C. college league.
Cameron was happy with how hard the Timberwolves competed against the WolfPack. He was especially pleased with their efforts on defence.
"One of the positives that came out of the weekend was, defensively in the game on Sunday, we were very well-organized," he said. "We were winning balls farther up the field, which is significant. In the past we've had to sort of drop off and contain teams whereas now we're organized enough and aggressive enough that we're able to win balls in the midfield and in the offensive third, which allows for counterattack scenarios."
The Timberwolves players were together all winter and took full advantage of the situation. Three times per week, they had weight-training sessions with PacificSport's strength and conditioning coaches. And, every weekend, they played a nine-a-side game.
"That added a significant number of larger-number games, compared to playing five-a-side," Cameron said. "So tactically that allowed us to do a lot more in training over the winter. I would say that the players have a much better understanding of their roles and responsibilities within the system that we're trying to play now."
Team members are now preparing for final exams and will go their separate ways in May. Training camp for the 2014 season will start in August.