Adam Williams, Sports Editor Ω
The WolfPack women’s soccer team returned to Hillside Stadium on Sept. 29 to face off against their interior B.C. rivals, the University of B.C. Okanagan (UBCO) Heat. The teams played to a 1-1 draw, with the Heat scoring in the 80th minute to tie the match. The goal came on a WolfPack defensive breakdown, but head coach Tom McManus was quick to point out the outcome of the match wasn’t due to just one mistake.
“I just thought that we played poorly,” McManus said. “I think the first half was probably the worst 45 minutes we’ve played all year.”
The match drew yet another large crowd to Hillside Stadium and all proceeds from the afternoon were donated to KidSport Canada in honour of Sports Day in Canada. Though the game ended in disappointment for the WolfPack, a few players put together outstanding performances. The ‘Pack’s only goal came on a great individual effort from Alanna Bekkering, who chased down a loose ball just before it went out of bounds and crossed it to Courtney Daly who netted her third goal of the season.
“Fantastic,” said McManus, when asked about Bekkering’s play. “Alanna is such a great winger, she’s got the strength and speed and just whipped a beautiful cross in and Courtney, what a great volley to finish it off.”
With the draw, the women still sit comfortably atop the PACWEST standings. They’ve dominated individually thus far as well, as Blair MacKay was named PACWEST Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 26. MacKay said she was excited to receive the honour but cared more about the fact her team was able to shut out both of their opponents last weekend. A fifth year co-captain of the WolfPack, MacKay echoed the sentiments of her coach after Saturday’s match.
“I think it was a tough fight, UBCO is always a really good fight,” MacKay said. “They push really hard. I think it was unfortunate that we tied, obviously we’d have rather gotten the win.
“I think we just need to win the knock-downs and be first to the ball right from the get-go [Sunday].”
The WolfPack played to a tie on Sunday as well, coming back from a one-goal deficit in Kelowna. Though the result was similar, McManus was much happier with his team’s effort in the rematch.
“We kept going strong after UBCO in the second half,” said McManus, in an interview with TRU Athletics. “To their credit, they came back and tried to push us. I’m definitely impressed with our character. These were two tough matches with our interior rival.”
The WolfPack will play Douglas College and Kwantlen Polytechnic University next weekend, before returning to Hillside Stadium Oct. 13.