The TRU WolfPack men's soccer team may have had trouble scoring goals in 2012, but early in the 2013 season those problems appear to be a thing of the past.
The WolfPack began its season by netting six goals at Hillside Stadium, two in a 2-1 victory over the Capilano University Blues on Saturday and four in Sunday's 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Island University Mariners. Oriol Torres led the way for the 'Pack, scoring four times.
"I just always working for the team," Torres, who is from Barcelona, Spain, said following the match against VIU in which he had two goals. "If I score good, if not I just keep working."
Torres' first goal came early in the match when he made a play off a WolfPack corner kick in the ninth minute. But VIU quickly recovered, tying the game on a free kick awarded after defender Nolan Wallace took down one of its players on a rush.
TRU again took the lead when Torres scored his second, heading in a free kick in the 44th minute. He nearly made it 3-1 just minutes later, but instead put the ball just over the crossbar.
Torres capped off his weekend by picking up an assist on the game-winning third goal, grabbing a rebound on a shot from forward Jacob Kaay and crossing the ball to a wide-open Justin Wallace, who knocked it in.
"He's on fire right now, so if he can keep that going it would be awesome," said WolfPack co-head coach John Antulov of Torres. "They've all been nice goals. We need that kind of offence from Oriol. He had a great summer in the Pacific Coast League and he's carrying it through."
Kyle Logan scored the game's final goal on a free kick in the 60th minute.
The Mariners pressured for the game's remaining 30 minutes but were unable to get much of anything going against the WolfPack's defence. The Mariners were further hampered when Renan Rebelatto received a red card, apparently for spitting, and was ejected from the match early in the second half, forcing the team to play shorthanded. It was a chippy match throughout; on top of Rebelatto's red card, five yellow cards were assessed.
"That's the way VIU plays and we expect that," Antulov said. "We know that when we play these guys it's always going to be a chippy game, it always has been. But our guys handled our composure quite well."
The WolfPack's six goals are a strong start considering it had had trouble scoring at times last season. It wasn't until the fifth match of 2012 that the team scored its fifth marker; it has taken it only two matches to amass that many this season. Antulov said his team is better equipped offensively this season after averaging fewer that two goals per game in 2012.
"I think having Justin back, Oriol is firing on all cylinders, guys like Brandon Mendez and Kyle Fertile, all those guys are building that confidence to go forward and to attack. So, yeah, we should be scoring a lot of goals," Antulov said.
Torres is benefiting from the addition of Wallace, possibly more than anyone. He assisted on Torres' game-winning goal Saturday and Torres got the assist on Wallace's goal yesterday; there's obvious chemistry developing between the two.
"I like playing with Justin, he's a good player," Torres said. "I'm just really happy he's back and hopefully we can take the title this year."
Meanwhile, the WolfPack women are hoping to capture a third title in the Pacific Western Athletic Association and started off strong this weekend at home, beating Capilano 2-1 on Saturday and VIU 3-1 on Sunday.
Bronwyn Crawford and Jaydene Radu scored for the 'Pack on Saturday, both on passes from Alanna Bekkering. Bekkering scored a pair Sunday and Kelsey Martin added a single.
Both TRU teams now will go on the road for three weeks, playing games against Douglas College, Kwantlen Polytechnic, Quest University and Langara College before playing rematches against Capilano and VIU.
The WolfPack men and women will return to Hillside Stadium Oct. 5 to play the UBCO Heat.