There are a couple phrases that might describe the Prince George Youth Soccer Association Under-18 girls side this season.
Sunday in South Surrey, the U-18 Timberwolves rallied from a 3-1 half-time deficit to edge the North Shore Renegades 4-3 to win the bronze medal at the four-team Provincial A Cup championship.
"At half-time, I just told them to believe in themselves, to look what happened in Kamloops (at the Interior A Cup qualifier in June)," said T-wolves head coach Jo Wankling. "They then lit it up and played very well in the attacking end. They decided they really wanted to win it and it was a great way to wrap up the season."
Winning the bronze medal wasn't an easy task though.
In the round-robin, the Timberwolves suffered consecutive shutout losses to the Upper Island Storm (5-0), Burnaby Selects (3-0) and the Renegades (2-0).
Wankling said the outdoor artificial turf at South Surrey Athletic Park was very different than that of the indoor turf at the Northern Sport Centre that the Timberwolves practice and play on for the majority of the year. It had more bounce and was very quick.
The three losses meant they played in Sunday's final match for the bronze medal and, as luck would have it, it was on natural grass.
"Those teams (we faced) play all winter against each other from September until June so we just needed a few games to get up to speed and acclimatize to the playing surface," said Wankling. "All the games were very close. Upper Island beat us but then they tied North Shore (0-0). It was a very tight tournament."
In the bronze-medal game, Wankling changed the player formation from a 4-3-3 system (four defenders, three midfielders and three strikers) to a 3-5-2 where there were three defenders, five midfielders and two strikers.
Still getting used to the new formation, the Timberwolves found themselves trailing 3-1 after 45 minutes. Maddie Doucette notched the lone goal for Prince George.
But just like they did at the Interior A Cup final where they defeated the Kamloops Blaze in a best-of-five shootout to break a 1-1 series tie, the Timberwolves rebounded and found their inner strength.
Striker Shonda Couroux connected on a ball for a goal, followed by Tess Tuininga and Couroux scored her second goal of the game.
Goalkeeper Patricia Miles earned the win.
"Patrica was very good and aggressive in net," said Wankling. "The girls adapted very well (to the formation). With only three in the backfield, other teams can exploit you. But our defensive line held it together and they shut North Shore down in the second half. I'm very proud of the team's hard work. They didn't give up."
The Burnaby Selects won the gold medal with a 3-0 shutout win over the Upper Island Storm.
The Timberwolves, comprised of two Grade 12 players, 12 Grade 11s and one Grade 10, have 11 athletes who train year-round with the Whitecaps Northern Academy.
Wankling said the team's objective in 2016 is to win the gold medal in the Provincial A Cup. All but two players on the team are U17s, so they'll be eligible to return to play U18 again.
The majority of the girls will continue to train with the Whitecaps Academy this fall and winter.