Kamloops, BC—Corey Wallis is known best for his defensive prowess with the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack.
But Saturday afternoon (Aug 22) at Hillside Stadium, the fifth year player from Enderby, BC showed his offensive skill. He scored three second half goals leading the WolfPack to a 3-0 win over the Douglas College Royals at an exhibition preseason tournament.
Wallis scored his first goal at the 66th minute mark. Kyle Fertile (fifth year, midfield, Kamloops, BC) took a free kick and after a scramble: Wallis found the ball on his foot and he deflected it in.
Two minutes later, he scored again. “I have never scored one like that before “ he stated. “ I flicked it with one foot behind me.” That goal came at the 68th minute.
The third goal came off a penalty kick in the 79th minute when another player was hauled down in the 18 yard box. That player deferred to Wallis who went low to the left of the Douglas keeper for his hat trick.
Wallis has scored many hat tricks in his soccer career but never at the University level.
“I like to get forward lots and put pressure on the opposition winger,” Wallis says about his offensive strategy. “He can’t attack me. Kind of a reverse of our roles.”
“It was a bit unexpected from Corey,” said WolfPack head coach John Antulov about his hat trick. “When he plays out on the flank we expect him to get into the play.”
Travis Froehlich (Revelstoke, BC) went the distance for the shutout.
Antulov was pleased with the way his team played possession soccer. “That is what we are looking to do…to be patient. You know if nothing is on we don’t want to force it. We want to look for our spots and draw them out and look for our opportunities.”
This match along with their one Sunday (Aug 23) against Langara College, another PACWEST opponent could be seen as a move by Antulov to put his young team in a scenario where they are playing a squad hungry to knock off a higher caliber opponent. That forces the young ‘Pack into a situation where they are the hunted rather than the hunter.
“Obviously, but we both know that Langara and Douglas are traditionally very strong schools. Douglas usually has a really good squad. They battled really hard today. We were lucky we capitalized on our chances to score.”
Antulov praised his entire roster. “I think everyone who went in did really, really well. The guys are starting to buy into what the coaching staff is talking about. It is nice to know that when you are putting in 21, 22 23 guys and not missing a beat that means everyone is on the same page and doing well.”
Other scores from the rest of Saturday: UBCO Heat of Kelowna, BC downed MacEwan Griffins of Edmonton, AB 2-1. UNBC Timberwolves of Prince George handed Langara College (PACWEST) a 6-1 defeat.
Matches Sunday have UNBC taking on MacEwan at 11 am followed by UBCO against Douglas. TRU faces Langara at 1 pm. All matches are at Hillside Stadium.
Next weekend (Aug 29-30), the WolfPack are playing at an exhibition tournament at UBCO before opening up their 2015-16 Canada West regular season on September 12th at Hillside when they entertain the Trinity Western University Spartans. Kickoff is 2 pm. The match coincides with TRU’s 45 th anniversary celebrations and is deemed an ‘alumni’ event.