Coming off an incredibly successful non-conference season, and their first week of Canada West play, the Alberta Pandas
Soccer team returns to Foote Field for their home-opening weekend, this Saturday and Sunday.
The Pandas will host the Thompson Rivers WolfPack at noon on Saturday, before hosting the UBCO Heat on Sunday afternoon. Both games will be streamed live on Canada West TV
, and will be free to the public at Foote.
Opening their season with a pair of non-conference road tournaments, the Pandas ripped off five wins in their first six matches before winning their first two conference games last weekend. Alberta earned a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Calgary and then cruised past Lethbridge with a convincing 3-0 win.
The UAlberta soccer women are one of just two undefeated teams left in Canada West, with the U SPORTS No. 1 ranked Trinity Western Spartans leading the Pacific Division with a matching 2-0-0 record. Despite their strong start, the Pandas were left out of the most recent national Top 10, UBC (No. 6) joining TWU as the only Canada West representatives.
As for Alberta’s B.C. foes this coming weekend, the WolfPack opened their season with a 2-1 loss to MacEwan, followed by an impressive 3-1 win over UNBC. The Heat, meanwhile, drew even with UNBC at home, followed by a 1-0 shutout over MacEwan on Sunday.
Pandas head coach Liz Jepsen
became the most recent member of the 150 club, notching her 150th career overall win last Sunday in Lethbridge. Across her 14 seasons, Jepsen has earned a 150-67-33 overall record, a 106-45-29 conference record, one Canada West Championship, and three national tournament appearances.
Leading the Pandas to their hot start has been the dynamic play of veteran midfielders Morgan Corbett
and Brenna Mattiello
. The duo has accounted for four of the five Pandas goals last weekend, with Mattiello also assisting on both Corbett and Brooke Lang’s goals in their win over Lethbridge on Sunday. Her four points are the second most in Canada West, one behind UBC Thunderbird Danielle Steer.
The Pandas met the WolfPack and Heat last in 2016, with the Pandas earning a pair of wins over each program. Alberta also outscored their B.C. opponents 19-2 over those four matches, including a 5-2 win over TRU and a 6-0 win over UBCO at Foote Field in mid-October.