For 13 members of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack women’s soccer team, this was their baptism. Soccer baptism, that is.
The 13 made their university soccer debut in North Vancouver as the WolfPack opened their Canada West pre-season. On Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 16, the WolfPack fell to the host Capilano University Blues, 2-1.
“It was a solid effort for a virtually brand new team,” said head coach Kelly Shantz, who was also making his Canada West preseason debut at the helm of the program. “Of the 19 players we dressed, 13 were either making their first appearance at a brand new level of soccer.”
TRU opened the scoring against the PACWEST team in the 15th minute. Katie Harding (midfield, Salmon Arm), who is returning to the WolfPack after a year away scored the goal. She was awarded a penalty kick and scored with a rocket from 25 yards out to the top corner.
Before the first half was over, Capilano tied it. In the 42nd minute, Deanna Brady (1st year, keeper, New Westminster) was beaten on a shot after a run by the Cap player down the left side. Brady was a red shirt with TRU last season. She played the first half of the match.
The only goal in the second half came in the 49th minute after a scramble in front of the TRU net and it bounced in. Brenna Worsfold (1st year, Kamloops) was in goal for the WolfPack at that time.
TRU had a chance to tie the contest when first year player Keenan Degen (Kamloops) hit the goal post.
Afterwards, Shantz had praise for a number of players. “Sasha Siranni (1st year, Kamloops) caused a lot of trouble with her speed. Our four strikers put pressure on them.”
He also gave credit to Cassie Morris (1st year, Kamloops) in the middle of the back along with Kindra Maracle (3rd year, midfield, Kamloops) and Harding for strong play in the middle of the field.
TRU moves up to Squamish to take on another PACWEST squad: the Quest University Kermodes on Thursday, Aug. 18. The WolfPack then will go to Edmonton for an exhibition tournament the weekend of Aug. 27-28.
TRU opens its 2016 Canada West season in Calgary.