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Timberwolves take out Nationally-ranked Thunderbirds 2-1 in Vancouver

UNBC photo

Enemy territory, taking on the #7 team in Canada? The UNBC Timberwolves Men’s Soccer team was more than up to the challenge, topping the dangerous UBC Thunderbirds 2-1 on Friday in Vancouver.

In the eighth minute, the Timberwolves were nearly rewarded for their assertive start to the game. A turnover at the top of the UBC box found the feet of Abou Cisse, who stepped into it but saw his attempt sail just north of the crossbar.

The TWolves found themselves in a good spot ten minutes later as Canada West leading scorer Michael Henman Streaked in and narrowly missed the net wide on a blast that T-Birds keeper Axel Thulin Lennselius had no chance to touch.

The Thunderbirds settled down from there and began to dictate play, possessing and working it into the UNBC third for some quality looks. Markus Kaiser and Sebastian Dzikowski had opportunities, but the TWolves backline did well to limit much in the way of quality.

In the 38th minute, UNBC found a breakthrough from the hottest player in the country. Michael Henman was sprung by a Koby Greaves ball, stepped inside and beat Lennselius with a low shot from 20 yards out, making it 1-0 UNBC. The goal marked his 16th of the campaign, extending his lead in the conference.

Two minutes later, Henman was hauled down in the box, and the ref ruled a penalty kick for the Timberwolves. Instead of Henman stepping to the spot, it was the center back Cody Gysbers who took the PK and made no mistake, beating Puhalj to make it 2-0 in favour of the visitors. Gysbers’ first of the campaign sent UNBC into halftime with a two-goal lead.

In the second half, the Thunderbirds turned up the pressure, looking to cut into the two-goal deficit, which led to the two sides trading chances. Victory Shumbusho had his shot turned away by Daniel Zadravec, while Loic Benquet made a great run for UNBC but saw his shot deflected just wide of the right post.

In the 71st minute, UBC found the marker they were looking for. Off a corner kick, Zadravec hesitated for just a beat, leading to a bouncing ball in the box. Thunderbord leading scorer Victory Shumbusho located it, turned, and put it just under the bar to make a 2-1 game on his eighth of the year.

UBC continued to apply plenty of pressure, earning corner kicks and free kicks aplenty, with Gysbers and the TWolves defenders working diligently to defend the narrow lead. Finally, the T-Birds ran out of time, and the Timberwolves secured a massive 2-1 victory over their Nationally-ranked opponent.

With the win, UNBC improves to 6-4-1, while the Thunderbirds fall to 5-3. The two sides clash again on Saturday night in Vancouver.

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