The WolfPack women’s soccer team opened the 2018 season with one win and a loss in two exciting encounters to kick off their Canada West season.
The ’Pack started their season on September 8 with a 2-1 loss to the MacEwan Griffins, who they led 1-0 for most of the contest.
TRU had a slow start in the game and MacEwan dominated early before TRU took a 1-0 lead.
Kelsey Thorkelsson, scored a header off of Marisa Mendonca’s corner 14 minutes into the game.
After that point, the Griffins hit everything but the back of the net. The Griffins created plenty of opportunities, but couldn’t finish.
Danielle Robertson made some big saves to keep TRU in the contest and ahead on the scoreboard.
TRU was able to stay ahead for most of the second half until MacEwan scored 85 minutes into the game. Meaghan Oram scored the goal with a one time finish.
MacEwan then broke the ’Pack’s hearts with a goal 88 minutes in by Sarah Riddle; a goal that could be considered a goal of the season contender this early in the season.
MacEwan outshot TRU 27-11, in what was a very action-packed game.
Despite the disappointment in the season opener TRU came back strong with a convincing 3-1 win over the UNBC Timberwolves on September 9 at Hillside stadium.
TRU’s second game was just as exciting for the ‘Pack with Chantal Gammie scoring eight minutes into the game.
First-year midfielder Abbie Simms made things even sweeter with a goal twenty-six minutes in the first half to make it a 2-0 game.
Things got even better for the ’Pack after TRU was awarded a penalty 28 minutes into the first half.
Fourth-year midfielder and team co-captain Marisa Mendonca then scored a third goal from the penalty spot to kill the game off in the thirtieth minute.
UNBC threatened with a comeback with a goal scored by Sofia Jones a minute before the end of the first half.
The second half although eventful, didn’t feature any goals. Robertson made some big saves for TRU, but game management from the WolfPack was much improved in the second game.
The ’Pack did a better job of keeping the ball and running down the clocking in the second half.
“We had a really good thirty minutes in the first half and we strung together some good play and we put three in the net,” said head coach Kelly Shantz. “The positive is that we didn’t give it away in the second half, we had some scrambly moments where we had to fight through it and get our communication back up.”
Shantz acknowledged that his team is learning to play with the lead, as poor game management hurt the team in the season opener.
“We talked about it at half-time, we did not manage the game well in the last fifteen minutes yesterday, we gave the ball away, we had quick throw-ins, we played quickly when we’re trying to defend a lead,” he said.
Shantz was very happy with his central defenders who did well in maintaining possession when the team was under pressure.
It was a mixed opening weekend for the WolfPack ladies, but signs are promising for the 2018 season, the UNBC game had plenty of positives and gave fans of TRU something to look forward to.