Sam McDonald scored the game winner on Friday night over UNBC.

KELOWNA, B.C. – It was a dream start to the new season for the Heat men’s soccer team on Friday night as they scored two goals in the opening nine minutes en route to a 2-1 victory over the UNBC Timberwolves.

It didn’t take long for the Heat to find the back of the net in this new season. Midfielder Tyler Dhillon’s sweet strike from outside the box found the bottom left corner in the sixth minute.

It was only three minutes later that rookie Mark Lawrence would set up a penalty kick after a nifty turn would draw a foul in the box. Defender Sam McDonald calmly stepped up and slotted home his first goal in nearly two years firing to the bottom left corner.

After the opening barrage from the home squad, the T-Wolves would fight their way back, nearly finding the equalizer near the midway point of the opening 45. UBCO’s captain, Hamish Walde, would have to head one off the goal line to preserve the two-goal lead.

UNBC would breakthrough just before the break when they won a free-kick 20-yards out. Midfielder Anthony Preston would step up and bend one home short-side on the keeper as the visitors got themselves within one just before the break.

Neither team would find many quality scoring chances in the second half. In the 79th minute T-Wolves forward Stu Rowlands got sent off following a second yellow card.

The Kelowna product Nicholas Reitsma would finish with six saves on seven shots for the win in the season-opener, while Rob Goodey turned away three shots for the visitors.

These two teams will complete the season series tomorrow night at 5:30 p.m. PST. Watch the action from Kelowna live on CanadaWest.TV.

HEAT NOTES: Spencer Young returned to the team after a two-year absence. His size and speed made an immediate impact for the Heat on Friday night….Mark Lawrance and Pierson Stanley both made the U SPORTS debut in the win…Lawrance and Stanley each recorded a shot in the match…Corbin Beauchemin sat out his one-match after amassing too many yellow cards last season. He’ll be able to play on Saturday…

~ Oliver Rizun, Heat Sports Information