Kamloops, BC—Less than five days after they started their training camp, the Thompson Rivers University Women’s soccer team is about to play their first exhibition match.
Coach Kelly Shantz has his young ‘Pack squad set to entertain the Capilano University Blues of North Vancouver,BC (PACWEST) Wednesday (Aug 16) at noon at Hillside Stadium. It is the first of three matches in one week for Thompson Rivers.
“Training camp has been super,” says Shantz. “Good spirit and effort from everyone. I think we have a great bunch of recruits and new faces to raise the level of play on the field and make our team culture a great one off the field. The worst part of training camp has been dealing with the smoke issues in Kamloops and bouncing around places to train to keep the girls safe……it has been very disruptive to all.”
Again this year, the WolfPack has a rookie laden line-up with only one fourth year and two third year players. “We are simply better than last year. That has been obvious to the coaches even after 2 sessions. This year’s edition is more athletic and talented than last year, but then again…….maybe all the teams in Can West will be also. Time will tell!”
Shantz is enthusiastic about seeing his players in action. “Love getting on the field for games to learn more. It really is year one of the rebuild and I have 15 or so new faces to integrate and learn what they can do at this level and with new players around them, so the competition is very welcome.”
After the match, TRU will gear up to hit the road for a pair of exhibition matches hosted by MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. MacEwan, University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves and TRU alternate venues for their annual pre-season tourney. The WolfPack were supposed to host this year but because of the smoke from the Interior Wildfires, conditions were not contusive.
“Everyone is going to Edmonton,” Shantz adds. “Aall 26 players as we work towards sorting out our team. Next week we will narrow down the roster and be more specific when we head to Seattle on the 26th and 27th.
Thompson Rivers plays UNBC on Saturday (August 19th) and then the host Griffins on Sunday (Aug 20th).
The WolfPack have a first week bye and don’t see their first Canada West regular season activity until Saturday, September 9th when the MacEwan University Griffins pay a visit to Hillside Stadium for a 2 pm kickoff.