UNBC men fight to first points

The goose egg is off the Timberwolves' back.

The UNBC men's soccer squad secured its first CIS Canada West victory of the season Saturday in Kelowna, blanking the UBC Okanagan Heat 1-0.

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Second-year forward Brandon Wallace took advantage of a miss-timed pass by a Heat defender in the 56th minute which allowed Wallace to finish the chance past UBCO's hard-charging goalkeeper.

"We were passing the ball better than we had been and we were out-chancing them," said Timberwolves head coach Steve Simonson. "Brandon's goal occurred on an errant back pass. After we scored, we tightened up defensively."

Fourth-year goalkeeper Mitch MacFarlane preserved the clean sheet for the rest of the match.

UNBC's win came after a 2-1 loss to the Heat Friday night.

The Timberwolves trailed 1-0 until Matt Jubinville broke through UBCO's defence and found the back of the net in the bottom left corner late in the second half.

Sixty seconds later, in the 75th minute, the Timberwolves surrendered the winning goal. Even Simonson had to applaud it, an acrobatic display from freshman Jordan Wong, set up by a cross kick.

"They crossed the ball from about 12 yards out," said Simonson. "It was an overhead bicycle kick into the top corner. It's one of the best goals I'd seen."

With a 1-3 record, the Timberwolves are tied with the Heat for last place in the Pacific Division.

Up next are the 2-2 University of the Fraser Valley Cascades, whom the T-wolves host Saturday and Sunday. Both matches are at 2:15 p.m. at the North Cariboo Senior Soccer League fields.

The Cascades, who sit in fourth place in the Pacific Division, are coming off a 2-1 victory against the University of Victoria on Saturday in Abbotsford. They shut out UBCO 2-0 in their season-opener on Sept. 12.

"We're going to have to try and nullify their attack," said Simonson, who spent Monday morning watching UFV game film. "They just beat UVic so that shows they're a good side. We're not going to walk over them. It'll be an exceptionally hard weekend."

After UNBC played four consecutive games on the road to open the season, this weekend's matches are the first time the Timberwolves will have a chance to play at home in front of their friends, families and fans.

UNBC's women's soccer side fell to 0-3-1 on the weekend, after they were shut out 6-0 by UVic Friday in Victoria and blanked 1-0 by UBC Saturday in Vancouver.

The match in Vancouver was scoreless until the 86th minute when third-year forward Jasmin Dhanda received a wide pass, turned and fired from outside the penalty area. Her shot found the bottom left of the goal.

It was Dhanda's 13th shot on UNBC keeper Jordan Hall.

"They're the most talented team in the country," said UNBC head coach Andy Cameron. "Jordan made some good saves. And they couldn't break us down. That's credit to all 11 players who worked as a defensive unit. We looked to counter after giving up that goal. It was a tremendous effort."

It was also a huge improvement from the last time the two sides met. That was four years ago when the Thunderbirds thumped the Timberwolves 13-0.

The 4-1 Thunderbirds are the top side in the West Region

Friday in Victoria, the Vikes scored four goals in the first half and added two more in the second to secure the win.

"It was a tough adjustment for us," said Cameron. "Their game is so much quicker. They took it to us right from the start. We played with them much better in the second half."

UNBC takes on Trinity Western (2-1-1) Friday at 7 p.m. at the North Cariboo Senior Soccer League fields and follows that up with a noon tilt against UFV (3-0-1) Sunday.

"I think with UFV and Trinity Western, the girls are generally more excited to take on the second- and third-ranked teams in the country," said Cameron, adding recent results prove they can keep up with the top sides in the country. "We're just going to have to create more chances on net."

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