The UNBC Timberwolves Women’s Soccer team found themselves down 2-0 after 45 minutes, but put together a strong second half, coming back to earn a 2-2 draw with the University of Alberta Pandas in Edmonton, on Sunday.
The game opened with a slow pace, as each side looked to establish their style of play and get an understanding of what their opponents were looking to accomplish. Wanda Czebreszuk had the best look for Alberta, getting a shot from the top of the box, but that was blocked by Avery Nystedt. At the other end, Paige Payne found Kiana Swift streaking in on a run, but the midfielder put her shot over the bar.
Alberta turned up the pressure from there, testing UNBC freshman keeper Brityn Hinsche, but the Williams Lake product did well to keep the sheet clean.
After some good pressure by the TWolves, it was a turnover in the 43rd minute in the UNBC end that led to the Pandas opening the scoring, off the foot of Czebreszuk. Just one minute later, Alberta added to their advantage when Emily Duxbury fired from 20 yards out and beat a diving Hinsche, who couldn’t quite get enough of the ball to keep it out.
At the half, the Pandas led 2-0, on an 8-5 lead in shots.
In the second half, the Timberwolves held off some Pandas early pressure, and they were rewarded for their diligent work in the 60th minute. A good pass from Claire Turner found Celeste Kirkness, who fed a streaking Camryn Cline in the box. Cline’s cross got past goalkeeper Ashley Turner, and it was knocked into the net by an Alberta defender, making it 2-1.
UNBC continued to apply pressure in Alberta territory and made good on some tremendous play building up from their own half in the 78th minute. Kiana Swift went on a run, taking a pass from Hannah Emmond and finding Payne flying up the left side. The senior attacker used her signature left foot and beat Turner top corner, knotting the game at 2-2.
When the final whistle blew, the TWolves had earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw with the Pandas. Alberta led the shot category by a 19-11 margin, but UNBC did well to possess the ball and be the more threatening side, particularly in the final 30 minutes.
With the draw, UNBC moves to 2-3-1, while the Pandas now sit 3-2-1.
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