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Timberwolves conclude growing season with loss to WolfPack

Sunday afternoon at Masich Place Stadium, the UNBC Timberwolves (0-13-1) wrapped up their 2023 Canada West campaign with a 5-0 loss to the visiting Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack (5-7-2). Ainsley Grether paced the Wolfpack with two goals and an assist while Bella Geremia, Jocelyn Orr and Kat Stewart also provided goals. Brityn Hinsche finished the day with nine saves for UNBC while 10 (nine for UNBC, one for TRU) graduating seniors took to the pitch for their final Canada West games.

Offensively, TRU put their first goal on the board in the 18th minute when TRU’s leading scorer Ainsley Grether settled the ball down outside the penalty area and let fly a low blast that beat Brityn Hinsche for her team-leading fourth goal of the season, and first of two in the half.

A flurry of chances for TRU presented themselves in the 27th and 28th minutes, but Esi Lufo, and Anika Black both missed opportunities wide, while Amaya Heyes was turned aside by Brityn Hinsche.

Ainsley Grether (5) found paydirt again in the 40th minute. This one came because of some nifty footwork inside the penalty area. The play started with a quality high pass from Esi Lufo.

In the 43rd minute, Sidney Elliott tried to instill some life into the TWolves attack when she beat a pair of defenders down the left side with her speed before centering a pass to a crowd in the middle. TRU withstood the threat and cleared the ball away from harm.

Shots were 11-1 in the first half for TRU.

It was a much more aggressive start to the second half for UNBC who created some early zone time thanks to some purposeful ball movement. Kjera Hayman forced a good look for herself from the right side of the penalty area but was turned away by TRU keeper Aneesa O’Brien.

Back came the Wolfpack who further padded their lead in the 54th minute when Bella Geremia’s long shot from distance bounced up and in. For Geremia, it marked her first goal of the season and was set up by Alexis Virgo.

The best chance of the match for UNBC came early in the 67th minute when the ball deflected to Kjera Hayman in the penalty area. The Penticton product got all of her shot which deflected first off a TRU defender and then clean off the crossbar to keep the score 3-0.

Two minutes later, TRU tacked on their fourth of the match off the foot of Jocelyn Orr. Orr’s first goal of the campaign was set up by Esi Lufo, giving her two helpers on the day.

The TWolves kept fighting, and were nearly rewarded in the 73rd minute, but Fia Cameron’s pair of shots in close were turned away.

The final goal of the day for TRU came in the 77th minute off a quality strike from Kat Stewart. Stewart’s third of the season came courtesy of a feed from Ainsley Grether, giving the veteran her third point of the day.

When the final whistle sounded, the emotions of the moment were felt by all in attendance. The nine graduating players in uniform for UNBC were embraced by their teammates, and moments later they’d all be publicly recognized and celebrated for their accomplishments and contributions towards the betterment of the UNBC soccer program. One of those graduates was Avery Nystedt who was awarded Mr. Mike’s Player of the Game honours one final time. As usual Nystedt demonstrated the type of dedication, resilience and intensity that personifies the UNBC women’s soccer program.

To the 10 graduating UNBC seniors: Kalista Kirkness, Haley Taylor, Claire Turner, Sage Meyers, Camryn Cline, Sarah Lepine, Morgan Holyk, Lexy Green, Mackenna de Haan and Avery Nystedt – Thank you! Your efforts on the field, in the classroom and the community have all left the Timberwolves program in a better place. We wish all of you the very best in your remaining athletic, scholastic and personal endeavours.

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