TRU Wolfpack women’s soccer suffers first loss of exhibition season

The Wolfpack struggle to find motivation and lose to UBCO 2-1 at Hillside Stadium

Chantal Gammie battles for the ball against UBCO at Hillside Stadium (TRU Athletics)

Another game was played by the TRU Wolfpack women’s soccer team in Kamloops this last Tuesday, showcasing the TRU Wolfpack against the UBCO Heat. It was the second game in three weeks for the women’s team and is part of the regional cohort play that is present among Canada West teams.

The men’s team was also scheduled to play last Saturday; however, the match was cancelled due to the snowfall.

After winning the first game 3-2 at Hillside Stadium, the women’s team was not as lucky this time around after suffering a 2-1 loss. It was their first loss in years against the UBCO Heat and the team is aware they can do better.

“The game was definitely not the best we’ve played. We tried a few different people in new positions and changed our line-ups a couple of times. Ultimately, UBCO wanted it a bit more than us on the day,” midfielder, Ainsley Grether admitted. “I think it’s been difficult for us to practice at a fast pace and make our daily training as competitive as it has been for my previous two seasons.”

Athletes across all teams are finding it difficult to stay motivated during this exhibition season. With friendly games that do not include standings, stats, playoffs or championships, it can be sometimes hard to find the passion within the games.

With less pressure for results on coaching staff and players, it can be easy to brush off matches as if they do not hold the same level of weight. It can also be used as a time for coaches to implement different strategies and try players in different positions, which could be directly linked to either a win or a loss.
With that being said, many athletes and coaches are enjoying the relaxed season.

“Motivation can drop when there are fewer games on the weekend, but there is nothing we can do about that. It’s all out of our hands and the best thing we can do is enjoy the non-pressure situation we’re all in,” Grether said. “For returning players, we know how hard we have to work to earn minutes. This year takes the nerves off of us and all the individual pressure that players put on themselves during the season. It lets us just focus on training and becoming a better player.”

TRU soccer has historically dominated their matches against UBCO in the past three years, so play should intensify for both men and women’s soccer when they change cohorts and join bubbles with stronger teams like the UBC Thunderbirds and the Trinity Western University Spartans.

However, those future matchups are not guaranteed with COVID-19. The men’s team was planning to play the TWU Spartans last weekend but were unable to do so after a Spartans player was exposed to someone with the virus.
For now, the teams will continue to train and look to schedule more matches around the province. Keep an eye out for news regarding more matches being played at Hillside Stadium. The school is allowing an attendance of 50 people to watch from the stands.