Posted on: September 7, 2017
The Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team starts playing for real this weekend. (Sept 8-10). After getting the opening week bye, the WolfPack will visit the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves on Friday (Sept 8) before heading to Edmonton, Alberta to face the MacEwan University Griffins on Sunday (Sept 10).
This is the start of a four game road trip to start the season for Kelly Shantz’s youthful crew. They go to Saskatchewan and Regina next week (Sept 15-16)
The Pack met both these squads in the preseason losing 2-0 to UNBC and 4-0 to MacEwan.
The WolfPack’s home opener doesn’t come up until Saturday, September 22nd when they entertain the UBC Thunderbirds at Hillside Stadium in a noon start.
Date: Fri Sept 10 (UNBC), Sun Sept 12 (MacEwan) Time: 3pm/noon
Location: UNBC Field/Jasper Place Bowl (MacEwan)
Important Game Notes:
The WolfPack went 0-4-1 in the preseason. Last year, Thompson Rivers beat UNBC 2-1 on September 18, 2016 and then were snowed out October 14th. They lost 1-0 to UNBC in exhibition (Aug 27). Against MacEwan, TRU fell 2-0 in Edmonton, Alberta (Aug 28).
MacEwan is eighth in the coaches’ poll with UNBC 14th and TRU 16th. (The poll is led by UBC, followed by Trinity Western and Calgary).
Thoughts from WolfPack head coach Kelly Shantz:
1. What are you expecting from the teams you are playing?
Everyone looks for a fast start to a season. Playing at home will have UNBC and MacEwan looking for 3 points right away and we are going to have to be ready for teams playing that way. UNBC continues to grow their young program and Coach Neil up there will be making his mark in his 2nd yr. MacEwan made noise as a Prairie contender last year and will no doubt be looking to grow that reputation against us. 2 different scenarios for us, a grass field and building program in Prince George on Friday and then an artificial field and established playoff team in Edmonton Sunday…2 tests for us!
2. What is going right (what do you like) from your team right now?
I like a couple things…..the energy level and fitness is pretty good. We have gone hard in training camp and the girls are ready to go for the season. Secondly, the spirit and team vibe. Lots of chatter, lots of laugh’s and more and more communication going on in the heat of battle than you would expect with 15 new faces in the mix. I am proud of the girls, they have come together quickly.
3. Who are the players to watch on your team?
We are going to have to be successful working as a team and blocks of players within the team , so singling anybody out doesn’t serve the purpose, but with that on the record, 2nd Year Cassie Morris has the sky as the limit for potential and has taken more steps in the off-season to be an impact player in the midfield or backline. Our captains, Natalie Verdiel and Christine Fergin look polished and ready to lead this group of kids. Marisa Mendonca has rebuilt her approach to the game and it looks fantastic on her. She is a talented player and may be ready to be a full time regular. So many of the freshmen have made good impressions, but Camryn Curts has a big engine and is playing beyond her years right now and Rylee Singleterry shows the touch and style that so many TSS players come out of that academy with.
If you can’t make the game/match: watch online (pay per view) at www.canadawesttv.ca
Home game/match highlights and interviews will be available by logging onto www.gowolfpack.tru.ca