The TRU WolfPack battled through injury after injury to win the PacWest women's soccer title last season.
Its biggest concern on the eve of this PacWest regular season might be overconfidence.
The WolfPack is scheduled to open the season against the Douglas Royals on Saturday and the Kwantlen Eagles on Sunday. Both games, which are scheduled to kick off at noon, will be played at Hillside Stadium.
The WolfPack has every right to feel confident after a stellar end to last season. TRU, which went 5-1-5 during the regular season, won the PacWest championship in October, before taking fourth at the Canadian championship in Quebec City in November.
The offseason also was a lucrative one for head coach Tom McManus, who added eight rookies and two transfers. Plus, the WolfPack only lost three players off last year's active roster.
"Go out confident, be relaxed and start fast," McManus said, of his message to his team. "I try to talk to the girls and make sure they're not overconfident.
"It's one of those things - we want to be quietly confident."
Of the WolfPack's recruits, five were on the Kamloops Blaze U18 team that competed at the provincial A Cup championship final in July. On top of that, two former KYSA midfielders transferred to TRU - Marlie Rittinger of Ashcroft left the SFU Clan to play for the WolfPack, while Bronwyn Crawford came home after spending time at McMaster University in Hamilton.
"We've got a heck of a lot of depth this year," said McManus, last year's PacWest coach of the year. "We lost Ashley (Piggot) to graduation, and the other two (Maddy Reid and Chianne Smith) to injury."
Of course, all of this looks good on paper.
Whether TRU actually is better than last season should be evident on Saturday and Sunday, and the players certainly aren't taking things lightly.
"Tom keeps telling us not to focus on the fact that we went to nationals last year, because that could get in our heads," said WolfPack sweeper Laura Smylie. "He doesn't want us to think that we're going to have a free ride into nationals, because that's not going to be the case."
If there is one obvious improvement within the WolfPack's lineup, it's in the depth on its 25-person roster.
Despite all of its success last season, TRU had to fight through a bevy of injuries.
First it was starting sweeper Sarah Gomes, who went down with a concussion in the preseason and didn't return. Then, defender Blair MacKay broke her nose, ending her season, and forward Alanna Bekkering - who also broke her nose early in the season - fought through an eye injury at the PacWest championship.
Smylie, normally a forward, started the season in Gomes's place at sweeper, but had moved back up to forward when MacKay got injured. So Smylie returned to sweeper, but ended up at forward again when Maddy Reid came back from injury.
By the Canadian championship, Smylie was back on defence.
"Hopefully I'll just be sweeper this season," said Smylie, a native of 150 Mile House. "But if Tom needs a forward . . . he won't need a forward. I'm just hoping to be sweeper. I really like the position."
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The WolfPack men's soccer team, meanwhile, also will open its season with a pair of weekend games.
TRU, which went 4-5-2 in 2011, still has high expectations despite losing its last two games to miss the playoffs last season.
"We place high expectations every year," said WolfPack co-head coach Sean Wallace, who coaches alongside John Antulov. "Our goal every year is to make the playoffs and try to get to nationals.
"If we don't recruit that way and don't train that way, then we're setting ourselves up for failure."
The WolfPack is a young team, with seven rookies and seven second-year players on its 20-man roster.
Perhaps the exception to TRU's youth is in its midfield - it will be led by fourth-year Justin Smeaton and third-years Kyle Fertile, Seb Gardner, Ashley Raynes and Jacob Kaay.
"Right now, we've got a good number there," Wallace said. "We just have to find a place for them all to play."
The rest of the WolfPack roster - with the exception of fourth-year forward Peter Loncar - is young. That includes the defence, which comprises three second-year players and four rookies.
"We've got a lot of young guys coming up," Gardner said. "I think our whole defensive line is rookies or second-years, but they're guys who have justified their skill in practice and we all believe they can make an impact on the field."
The WolfPack will take on the Douglas Royals on Saturday, 2 p.m., and the Kwantlen Eagles on Sunday, 2 p.m., at Hillside Stadium.
Douglas will play host to the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championship in November, and is gearing up for a strong campaign.
"Douglas, they're the host of nationals and they've got an average age of 26," Wallace said. "They're going to be a very veteran-laden team and a tough opponent.
"But we're playing at home, so that could be to our benefit."