After losing 3-1 to the Saskatchewan Huskies in Saskatoon on Saturday, the UNBC Timberwolves were hoping to beat the heat in Regina and score a Canada West women's soccer victory over the University of Regina Cougars.
Already off to their best start since they joined U Sports/CIS in 2012, the T-wolves were looking to add three more points in the standings but had to settle for just one when they tied the Cougars 1-1.
T-wolves forward Paige Payne, a second-team conference all-star in 2018, put one in off her right foot to the back of the far post, her second goal of the season, which opened the scoring 42:47 into Sunday's game, set up on a pass from Julia Babicz. A few minutes earlier, Babicz, a fifth-year veteran, had a shot defect off the goalpost.
Regina drew even in the 56th minute, a shot from Sydney Langen fooled goalie Brooke Molby and that's the way it ended.
"It was an exciting game," said T-wolves head coach Neil Sedgwick. "In the second half we had good chances but Regina is a solid team and they worked hard and we just couldn't finish the second one.
"Paige had one (71 minutes in) that went under (Regina goalie Kylie Bolton's) hands and just went wide for a corner. We had loads of the ball (possession) and did a lot of good things. It was incredibly hot, 28 degrees and hotter than that on the surface."
Each team had six shots on goal.
The T-wolves (2-1-1) rank fifth in the Pacific Division, while Regina (1-2-1) sits fourth in the Prairie Division.
Saturday in Saskatoon, Kalli Cowles and Halle Krynowsky staked the Huskies to a 2-0 lead and Maya Gabruch capped the scoring in the 80th minute. Prince George Youth Soccer product Hannah Emmond had the lone goal for UNBC, scoring after a free kick taken by Kenzie Chilcott. Huskies goalie Jadyn Steinhauer had trouble controlling the shot and Emmond finished with a highlight-reel bicycle kick for her first goal of the season.
Madi Doyle made four saves in net for the T-wolves, while Steinhauer was forced to make three stops in the game. Saskatchewan managed seven shots on goal and the T-wolves were held to three.
"It was a good weekend, developmentally," said Sedgwick. "Even though the score read 3-1, that was an even game and we were really able to play it. Whereas a year ago we got a result, (they overcame a deficit with two late goals to tie the Huskies 2-2) but it was a more difficult game to play in. They had a lot more of the ball and controlled more of the game. So that one (Sunday) showed growth for us.
"It would have been great to come away with a win this weekend, but that' s OK. When you pick up a point and other teams don't, that keeps pushing you to where you want to be at the end of the year."
The UNBC men (3-3-1), who knocked off the previously undefeated Mount Royal Cougars 3-2 Friday at Masich Place Stadium, will travel to Edmonton to face the Alberta Golden Bears (1-4-1) next Saturday, then on Sunday will take on the MacEwan Griffins (now 1-3-2).