BY LARRY READ
Thompson Rivers University
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack scored three straight first half goals and withstood a big second half challenge to down the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves 3-1. The Canada West women’s soccer match was played Sunday (Sept 9) at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, BC. The victory was the first of the season for the ‘Pack who go to .500 at 1-1. UNBC falls to a loss and a tie.
TRU was led by Camryn Curts with two assists. WolfPack markers were scored by Marisa Mendonca, Chantal Gammie and Abbie Simms. Sofia Jones had the lone marker for the Timberwolves.
“We made some changes late in the first half and we got some energy,” said Neil Sedgwick, UNBC head coach on the team’s strong second half. “We carried that through into the second half. We had some good chances but we ran into a very resilient WolfPack team. It is always good to play TRU, they are always good matches and very entertaining along with providing different challenges every time.”
On the strong play of Paige Payne and Sofia Jones: “They have been fantastic in the preseason and yesterday. They add a real element to our team. Sofia is new to our team. Paige is really coming into her own as a player. As a duo they add a dynamic nature to our team which is great.”
UNBC came out strong and got the matches first three scoring chances. The best came in the sixth minute mark when Paige Payne turned at the top of the 18-yard box forcing Danielle Robertson to make the save.
But it was the WolfPack who scored first when Smithers native Chantal Gammie (1st year) got a through ball from Camryn Curts and notched her first Canada West goal in the 8th minute.
They added a second goal in the 27th minute when Abbie Simms (1st year, Courtenay, BC) was able to head the ball forward into the net after a centering effort from Curts.
After TRU’s Marisa Mendosa scored on a penalty kick, UNBC’s Sofia Jones (2nd year, forward, San Fransisco, CA) got a break away but was thwarted by Robertson. Jones later scored in the 44th minute to put UNBC on the board as she launched a high shot, which found the back of the net. TRU led 3-1 at the half.
UNBC came out of the dressing room fired up with Paige Payne (3rd year, midfield, Kitimat, BC) having a couple of great scoring opportunities.
In the 55th minute mark, Gammie got the pass from Emily Mann (2nd year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) and shoveled it to Curts at the top of the box. Her effort hit the cross bar.
The Timberwolves dominated the offensive opportunities in the second half. Roberton made two big saves including one in the 80th minute one handed to preserve the victory.