The UNBC Timberwolves took an early lead on a Paige Payne goal and leaned on first-year goalkeeper Brityn Hinsche to hold on for a 1-0 win over the TRU WolfPack on Sunday in Kamloops.
Both sides came out tentatively in the opening minutes, earning moderate chances off set pieces, resulting in mild chances.
Until Paige Payne made her mark in the 10th minute. After the TWolves forced a turnover, Claire Turner found Payne 25 yards out, and the Kitimat product advanced to 20 yards out and hammered the ball top corner past a helpless Marissa Young. The goal was the 14th of her career, tying Sidney Roy for the most in program history.
Twelve minutes later, Payne nearly did it again when she was sent in on a one-on-one run. The senior got around the TRU defender and beat young with a low shot, but the ball hit the left post and stayed out, keeping it 1-0.
Emily Clark was sprung on a break of her own at the other end and did well to get a good shot off, but her attempt went just wide of the post behind UNBC keeper Brityn Hinsche.
In the 32nd minute a TRU turnover led to Camryn Cline in all alone, but the second-year had not one, but two point-blank chances turned away by Young, keeping it a one-goal game. Celeste Kirkness had a tremendous chance of her own in the dying minutes of the half, using her speed and getting off a labeled shot that young dove to her right to knock away.
At the half, the TWolves held a 7-5 lead in shots, but a major advantage in scoring chances, instead having to settle for a 1-0 margin on the scoreboard.
The first 20 minutes of the second half didn’t result in threatening opportunities for either side, meaning the WolfPack were intent on picking up the pace and intensity in the final stages of the match. Kiana Swift was particularly strong in the midfield, playing with her signature ball-winning ability all over the pitch, frustrating Thompson Rivers with her tenacity.
After Payne was turned away on a great chance by Young, Mark Pennington’s side found their second win and tipped the pitch in the direction of the TWolves’ third.
In the 80th minute, off a free kick from 25 yards out, Katie Chun sent a header that was labeled, but Hinsche elevated and got enough of the ball to tip it off the crossbar and out. From there, a scramble in the box ensued before it was cleared out of danger by Celeste Kirkness.
The Pack kept coming, and nearly found the equalizer off the foot of Emily Clark who gathered a loose ball in the box and tried to beat the freshman keeper, but Hinsche did brilliantly to kick it away with her left foot, maintaining the lead.
TRU had one more great chance in the 90th minute. Off a corner kick from Bridget Baird, the ball squirted to a waiting Lydia Keating, but her glorious look was sent over the crossbar and out of play.
When the final whistle blew, the Timberwolves had held on for a 1-0 win, improving to 1-1-0 on the season, while the WolfPack fell to 0-2-0.
The clean sheet and victory were the first of Hinsche’s young career, making six saves in the process.
What do you think about this story?