The University of Northern British Columbia Men’s Soccer team held a lead on the mighty UBC Thunderbirds for 62 minutes, but ended up falling 2-1 to the T-Birds on Friday, September 27 in Prince George.
“We just couldn’t deal with the ball over the top,” said UBC’s Daniel Kaiser. “We didn’t expect how fast they would come out. We were caught a little flatfooted at first, and they came out firing. It has been a problem for our team, conceding goals early.”
The two sides traded chances in the 36th minute, as UNBC’s Owen Stewart found himself in prime scoring location, and looked to chip Roberts, but put it over the crossbar. Less than a minute later at the other end, Victory Shumbusho had the chance to equalize, but Zadravec made a brilliant stop to maintain the TWolf lead heading into the half.
Three minutes later, UNBC’s Anthony Preston was charged with a foul, his second of the match, meaning the TWolves would be forced to play a man short for the remaining 25 minutes.
Just eight minutes later, UBC got the opportunity they were looking for. A Ball was played into the box, where Demian Dron appeared to play the ball away before contact was made with a UBC attacked. The official ruled otherwise, awarding the visitors a penalty kick.
Veteran Kerman Pannu stepped up to the spot and beat Zadravec top corner for his first goal of the campaign, making it 2-1 T-Birds.
“There are many positives. One, we can play with ten men against the very best and still attack and press,” said Timberwolf Jonah Smith. “Two, we can create chances even when we are defending low, and number three, our backline can deal with stress and defend in tough situations.”
“It shows we can play with any team in the league,” said Watson. “Battling with UBC, going down to ten men and still fighting, not giving up too much in the back, really shows our grit and determination.”
“It was a good battle tonight, with lots of challenges,” said UBC’s Mackenzie Cole, postgame. “It had good spirit from both sides. I thought it was good. I expect a similar game on Sunday. It should be physical again, and we are ready to go.”