The UNBC Timberwolves and Trinity Western Spartans traded chances for 90 minutes before each team had to settle for a hard-fought 0-0 draw Friday at Masich Place Stadium in Prince George.
The Spartans came out pressing offensively, keeping the Timberwolves on their heels and encircling the home side in their own half. TWU’s best chance came from the foot of Tristan Torresan in the eighth minute, but goalkeeper Daniel Zadravec did well to deflect it.
“We started, and we were a bit lost. We didn’t do what we had prepared in terms of pressing,” said UNBC freshman Hagon Kim. “But we got together, we talked a lot, and after the first quarter of an hour we did very well.”
Steve Simonson’s program woke up in the 20th minute, finding success using the speed of wingers Hagon Kim and Loic Benquet. Anthony Preston looked great, as did Michael Henman, but nothing topped Trinity keeper Alexander Cordeiro.
“They work extremely hard. We knew it was coming,” Cordeiro said after the game. “They are super disciplined and really well trained. It’s never easy to come to Prince George and get a result.
At halftime, the game went scoreless, with UNBC holding an 8-5 shooting advantage.
In the second half, the Kim-Henman connection nearly hit as the freshman beat the TWU defender wide and left it to the veteran forward, but Henman couldn’t get enough and he was engulfed by Cordeiro.
Trinity showed life as the half progressed, as Christian Rossi, Soren Di Sabatino and Torresan all tested second-year starter Zadravec, but product Victoria was on point.
Henman had a glorious chance in the 83rd minute when sent on a partial breakaway, but Cordeiro did well to come out and get enough ball and striker to thwart the chance.
The Spartans nearly broke the deadlock in the 89th minute when Di Sabatino hit him for 20, over Zadraavec’s outstretched arms, but he hit the crossbar and was cleared by a Timberwolf defender.
When the referee blew the final whistle, it was a 0-0 draw, with both teams believing they deserved better.
“Disappointed, obviously. We wanted three points,” Cordeiro said. “Ties were our problem last year. We didn’t make the playoffs because we drew six times. Overall the effort was good, but we want to move on to Sunday and take three points.
The two teams will meet at noon Sunday at Masich Place Stadium, as the Timberwolves invite the community for Nats’ilnik Day.
“We could have had three points if we had managed a few chances,” Kim said after the game. “We deserved three points, but we have a game on Sunday. We had a lot of fans tonight and hopefully we’ll see them again on Sunday.