October 11, 2012, LANGLEY, British Columbia – Following its first loss of the season last weekend, the Trinity Western women’s soccer team looks to get back in the win column this Friday when they host the UNBC Timberwolves in what will be the Spartans final home game of the regular season. Kick-off is at 5 p.m. at Rogers Field.
The game will be streamed live at www.canadawest.tv.
TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (8-1-0)
CIS ranking: No. 3
Canada West Standings: 1st
Last weekend: Alberta 2-0 L, Mount Royal 3-0 W
Streak: 1 loss
2011 Canada West record: 12-1-1, 1st
2011 Canada West tournament: 2-0, 1st
2011 CIS tournament: 1-2, 6th
After losing for the first time since last year’s season-opener, and having garnered a 21-game win streak in between, the Spartans enter this weekend anxious to respond to their first regular season setback in 397 days. The loss, which stopped goalie Kristen Funk’s school record shutout streak at 613 minutes, marked only the second time all season the Spartans had allowed a goal and the first in which they had allowed two goals.
All that being said, the loss could actually be a blessing in disguise. While dropping three points makes the road to capturing the regular season title much trickier, the reality check that anything can happen on any day has the Spartans refocused and reenergized as they look to the final three games of their regular season. And the fact is, the Spartans actually played a decent game in the 2-0 loss to Alberta and, if not for a few missed scoring chances, the result may have been different.
This weekend, the Spartans – who enter Friday’s contest second in conference scoring with 34 goals – will look to get their offensive mojo back while also returning to their defensively staunch ways.
And for the offence, the Spartans this year have a number of options. First-year Krista Gommeringer is the leading both her team and the conference in points, with nine goals and seven assists, but after her, the Spartans have seen a balanced offence carry the load. The Spartans have 13 different goal-scorers this year and nine different multi goal-scorers. Add to that the conference assist leader in Alicia Tesan, who has nine helpers on the season, and TWU has an offence that is likely to quickly get back on track.
While there’s plenty of talk about goal-scoring with this team, this year the defence has been equally as impressive. After allowing just one goal in its first eight games, giving up two goals last weekend against Alberta has the back line antsy to get back on the pitch. After all, it’s been more than two years since the Spartans allowed two goals in a regular season game, going back to a 2-2 tie with Fraser Valley Oct. 8, 2010.
And with this being their final home game of the regular season, the Spartans will be raring to go and, if their intensity in practice this week is any indication, certainly a tough piece of business come Friday night.
NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA TIMBERWOLVES (0-7-3)
CIS Ranking: NR
Canada West Standings: 12th
Last Weekend: Lethbridge 2-2 T, Calgary 7-1 L
Streak: 1 tie
2011 Canada West record: N/A
2011 Canada West Tournament: N/A
2011 CIS Tournament: N/A
The UNBC Timberwolves will be making their first ever appearance at Rogers Field when they come to Langley this Friday. Competing in their first season in Canada West, the Timberwolves will enter the contest as sizable underdogs but, with few expectations, will no doubt be a loose team with little to lose once they hit the Spartans pitch.
The Timberwolves come into this weekend’s game still looking for their first win at the CIS level and, through 10 games, have been outscored 51-6.
However, UNBC is coming off a 2-2 tie against Lethbridge last weekend and, since a shaky start to the year that saw the Timberwolves lose three of their first four games while being outscored 28-0, the Prince George team has been a much more competitive side. Sparked by scoring their first goal in Canada West league play during a 3-1 loss to Saskatchewan, UNBC has scored six goals in its last six games and held the opposition to three or fewer goals in four of those contests.
The one player who has been particularly dangerous offensively for UNBC is first-year striker Sidney Roy, who has five of the Timberwolves six goals this year. First-year midfielder Jessica Manning has the other goal for UNBC.
In net, second-year Jordan Hall has played in all 10 games thus far this season and has made a conference-high 124 saves, more than doubling her nearest Canada West counterpart. She has one shutout on the year, which came in a season-opening 0-0 tie with Winnipeg when she stopped nine shots.