Fresh off a result against the Nationally-ranked TWU Spartans, the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves earned a massive win over another member of the U SPORTS Top 10, the Calgary Dinos, topping the Dinos 2-1 on Friday, in Prince George.
Playing in front of 1,200 school district students at Masich Place, the Timberwolves fed off the energy of the raucous crowd and struck first in the 20th minute. A pair of Canada West All-Stars connected for UNBC as defender Mara McCleary sent striker Paige Payne in with a long ball over the top that the Kitimat product hammered on her first touch past a diving Katie French. The goal was the eighth of the campaign for Payne, moving her into third in the conference.
The two teams traded chances much of the rest of the half, with Payne hitting a post for the Timberwolves, while Jayden Berg and Shyanne Hedges each had looks for the Dinos.
In the second half, Calgary came out pressing the UNBC backline, and had looks off the feet of Berg, Julia Fox, and Rachel Barlow, but keeper Brooke Molby did well to keep the sheet clean. In the 57th minute, McCleary sent a ball deep in to the Dinos third that was corralled by a streaking Sidney Elliott. The Powell River product sent it into the box, finding Claire Turner, whose shot snuck just inside the left post to double the Timberwolves lead.
Calgary turned up the intensity, seeking a goal that would cut into the deficit, eventually finding it in the 81st minute. Off a Rachel Barlow corner kick, Sofia DiGiacomo got enough of it to beat Molby and a slew of TWolves defenders, bouncing over the line for her fourth of the season, making it 2-1.
The Dinos were intent on finding the equalizer, advancing the ball into the UNBC third and earning a number of free kicks and corners, but the TWolves defenders, led by McCleary, did enough to hold the fort, securing the one-goal victory.
With the win, UNBC improves to 4-5-2, putting them in position to make a push for the Canada West playoffs as the season winds down. Calgary’s defeat drops them to 6-4-1 on the season. The two teams will clash again on Saturday at Masich Place at 12 PM.