MSOC: Timberwolves settle for 1-1 draw with gritty Vikes side

September 4, 2018
Photo Credit: Brett Cullen Photography

PRINCE GEORGE – The University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves controlled much of the clock and the ball, but had to settle for a 1-1 draw with the visiting Victoria Vikes, Tuesday in Prince George.

Playing for the first time on the newly renovated Masich Place Stadium pitch, the TWolves came out flying early on, taking a 1-nil lead in the sixth minute on a goal by Owen Stewart. Veteran Matt Jubinville sprung the second-year Prince George native, and he made no mistake beating Vikes keeper Jas Lally.

“We are just breaking in the new season. It feels good to get going early and get on the board, personally, but I would trade that goal in for three points any day,” said Stewart postgame.

Victoria settled down following the early marker, and managed to slow the Timberwolves attack. In the 22nd minute, a Vike was taken down in the box, leading to a penalty kick opportunity for Matteo Ventura. He made the most of the chance, scoring his first of the season past a sprawling Rob Goodey.

Chances were hard to come by the rest of the half, with the 500 in attendance trying to will the home side to a victory. In the second half, they tried to please that crowd, applying pressure and creating a number of excellent chances in the Victoria end.

“We are working on keeping it tight in the back. You don’t lose games where you don’t let in goals,” said Vikes senior Mackenzie Rigg. “That’s what we came out to do in the second half. We wanted to defend their press and then look to move forward.”

The Vikes, however, had a bend not break attitude, and refused to allow a Timberwolves go-ahead goal. When the official blew the final whistle, the shots on goal were 11-5 in favour of the TWolves, but Lally did enough to preserve the draw.

“UNBC was here to fight, there is no doubt. It was a great game, but we showed character and showed we could play a full 90,” said Rigg postgame. “We got a point. Looking ahead, this where we build from.”

With the tie, the Vikes move to 0-2-1, earning their first point of the season, while the Timberwolves start the campaign at 0-0-1.

“All our young guys are excellent players,” said Stewart. “The system we play allows guys to be their best, so it is exciting. It sucks to not get those three points, but we keep going, with a big weekend ahead.”