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Cisse, TWolves claw back, earn 1-1 draw with Cascades

Despite falling behind just minutes into the game, the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves battled back to earn a 1-1 draw with the University of Fraser Valley Cascades, Friday, August 30, 2019 in Prince George, B.C.

For the third straight game to start the Canada West season, the Timberwolves fell behind in the opening minutes.  Just 2:23 into their home opener at Masich Place, Parman Minhas found the ball at his foot and was able to beat TWolves keeper Rob Goodey for his first of the campaign.

“That was definitely nerves. The home opener, playing in front of the home crowd,” said UNBC’s Abou Cisse. “We have to be clinical in the back third. That will be our goal on Sunday.”

Just like the first two matches of the year, though, UNBC showed their mettle by settling in and grabbing control of play. Over the final 30 minutes of the half, the Timberwolves put the pressure on Cascades keeper Ethan Duggan. The first-year starter was up to the task, turning away great opportunities from Owen Stewart and Michael Henman.

In the second half, The TWolves found what they, and the 450 in attendance, were looking for. Freshman Reid Adams was able to dribble it into the box, winning it to Abou Cisse. From there, Cisse did the rest. A great fake got two defenders to bite, before he stepped in and beat Duggan top corner to knot the game.

“They were coming at us the entire game,” said Duggan postgame. “They high-pressed, which caught us off guard. It put us under pressure and we needed to be more aware in the back.”

Both teams would trade chances the rest of the way, with the best look belong to UFV’s Rajan Bains who hammered a free kick attempt off the post beside Goodey.

When the referee blew the final whistle, the shots on net were 13-6 in favour of the home side, though both teams had opportunities they wish they could have back. The TWolves move to 1-1-1 on the season, while the Cascades sit 0-2-1.

“We played how coach told us. He tells us to be aggressive and ruthless around the net,” said Cisse. “It was good we came back. We get one point, they get one point. We come back in a couple days even stronger.”

The two Pacific Division sides will clash again on Sunday, September 1st in Prince George.

“We have to press them off the bat and try to win the ball,” said Duggan. “We need to avoid their strikers, and try to play through and finish our chances better.”

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