Tom McManus, head coach of the TRU WolfPack women's soccer team, has had lots of fun watching Marlie and Bee.
That would be Marlie Rittinger and Bronwyn Crawford (whose nickname is Bee, according to the TRU media guide). The midfielders - both transfers - have helped the WolfPack to a 5-1-0 record and first place in the Pacific Western Athletic Association.
The WolfPack, with the exception of a 1-0 loss to the host Quest Kermodes in Squamish on Sept. 15, has been dominant this season. A big reason for that, said McManus, is the team's depth.
And perhaps the deepest spot on the TRU roster is at midfield, where Crawford and Rittinger are joined by fifth-year sisters Chloe and Abbey McAuley, rookies Madi Ellis, Kindra Maricle and Laura Stacer, and second-year Vanessa Zilkie.
"Marlie and Bronwyn . . . it's nice to have them back," McManus said. "They're two great leaders and two very competitive ball-winners. It's great to have them at centre-midfield."
TRU is scheduled to play two matches against the UBC-Okanagan Heat on the weekend - the teams will play at Hillside Stadium on Saturday, 1 p.m., before a Sunday rematch in Kelowna.
The WolfPack has been a confident bunch all season, after winning the provincial title in 2011.
But what was a strong team last season became even stronger when Crawford and Rittinger, both products of the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association, decided to transfer in.
Crawford actually has played two seasons with the WolfPack - she joined TRU after graduating from South Kamloops Secondary in 2008, and played the next two seasons for the WolfPack.
In 2010, she transferred to McMaster University in Hamilton, where she was away from soccer the past two seasons.
She got the itch to return to the pitch after seeing her former WolfPack teammates perform so well last season.
"Hearing that they went to nationals last year, I was very jealous," Crawford said. "I missed playing here so much, from my two years (before)."
Rittinger grew up in Ashcroft, but played rep soccer with Kamloops Blaze teams from when she was 12 until she graduated in 2011.
Right out of high school, she joined the NCAA's Simon Fraser Clan in Burnaby, but spent last season as a red-shirt.
"There were a lot of factors (in transferring)," said the 19-year-old Rittinger. "It's just a better fit overall with living and the style of soccer TRU plays compared to SFU."
However they got to Kamloops, McManus is glad to have them side-by-side on the field.
"They play off each other well," he said. "When one's saying something, the other will be ready to go for it. They knit together well."
Neither player has had any trouble fitting in so far - both have ample experience with their teammates.
Crawford played high school soccer with forward Alanna Bekkering and defender Blair MacKay, the conference's most recent player of the week. In her first turn with the team, Crawford played alongside both McAuleys, Bekkering and MacKay.
Rittinger also is familiar with her surroundings - through six years of youth soccer in Kamloops, she played with a number of her WolfPack teammates. She certainly has been fitting in, as she's in a six-way tie for the team lead in goals, with two.
"I know most of the girls, and we're all close," Rittinger said. "I played with a lot of these girls in youth, and going away (to SFU), I missed them.
"They've made it very easy for me to come back."
Crawford had a long way to come back. She had injured a knee in the winter following the 2009 season, and didn't play post-secondary soccer for two full seasons after.
She did play with the Kamloops Heat in the Pacific Coast Soccer League in the summer of 2011, but took this past summer off to work in New York.
She wasn't exactly confident that she would be able to contribute right away.
"I thought I wasn't going to be fit enough and not strong enough on the field," said Crawford, who was a second-team conference all-star in 2009. "I kind of surprised myself . . . I was nervous.
"I got back into it quickly," added the 22-year-old. "I guess my body adapted. I thought, being older, my body wouldn't be able to handle two-a-days . . . but I actually surprised myself."
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The WolfPack men's soccer team also will be involved in a conference doubleheader with the Heat.
The TRU men will be in Kelowna on Saturday for a game with the Heat (0-3-3), before the teams play Sunday, 1 p.m., at Hillside Stadium.
The WolfPack is fourth in the conference at 2-3-1, and has split its past four games. TRU is expected to have back Seb Gardner and Oriol Torres, both of whom missed a game due to injury.
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It's an annual tradition for the WolfPack men's volleyball team.
TRU will head to the Kootenays for the fifth straight year to play exhibition matches.
The WolfPack will hold a clinic in Creston today, at the same time as the Calgary Dinos will be holding a clinic in Kimberley - afterward, split-squads from the two programs will play matches in those towns.
On Friday, the WolfPack will play the Red Deer College Kings in Jaffray, before heading to Cranbrook for a match with the Dinos. The trip will wrap up Saturday, with TRU playing the College of the Rockies Avalanche and Calgary - both of those matches are in Cranbrook.
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The B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League season is right around the corner for the WolfPack, which will play its final exhibition games this weekend.
TRU will be in Calgary for the SAIT Icebreaker tournament. The WolfPack's BCIHL regular season will open Oct. 6, when it heads to Langley to play Trinity Western.
Before then, TRU will take on the Grant MacEwan Griffins on Friday, and the host SAIT Trojans on Saturday.
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While the hockey boys are getting ready for the season, things are winding down for the WolfPack baseball team, which has but two weekends remaining in its fall exhibition season.
TRU will head to Langley and Victoria for five games over three days against B.C. Premier League teams. The WolfPack will play the Langley Blaze on Friday, before playing the Victoria Mariners and Eagles on Saturday and Sunday.
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Nanaimo is the destination for the WolfPack golf team, which has finished seventh in each of its first two conference tournaments.
TRU's golfers will play a 36-hole stroke-play tournament. The conference is coming off a bye week, and is halfway through its four-event season.