By Ryan Laverty
The Dinos rolled out the red carpet this past weekend for the first Canada West field hockey tournament of the year at McMahon Stadium, but the women were far from the perfect hosts.
The Dinos’ first game was against the third-ranked squad from the University of Victoria. The team played extremely well and managed a 0-0 draw against the perennial powerhouse from the coast.
Saturday morning brought dismal weather and the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbirds. The Dinos fought the morning frost with an early goal from forward Allison Johnson. However, the reigning Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union champion T-Birds came roaring back with a mark of their own late in the first half. The second 35 minutes saw UBC notch two more, ending any hopes of a Calgary upset.
Disappointed but not deterred, the Dinos regrouped and came back with a solid performance in the afternoon against the University of Manitoba. The veteran Johnson opened the scoring against the Bisons. Kelsey Barrie and Ashley Reaburn followed suit and sealed the deal for Calgary.
Sunday brought a little bit of good with a little bit of bad: good weather and bad blood. Fresh off a bronze medal performance in last year’s CIAU championships, the University of Alberta Pandas carried an air of arrogance about them as they walked into McMahon. The Dinos didn’t waste any time congratulating them. This was to be about more than just stealing a couple points in a game; it was about payback and rivalry. There is always sweetness in the cup of victory, but the taste is amplified a hundred-fold when you drink atop a broken team from Edmonton.
All niceties were left at the stadium gates as the opening whistle blew. The game was hard fought from beginning to end and the eighth-ranked Dinos looked to be in complete control of the game. They moved the ball well and ran circles around the Pandas. The only thing missing was a goal. As it turned out they never did find one and the game ended deadlocked at 0-0.
"We played a full 70 minutes today. We had no lapses," said Dinos’ team captain Teresa McLachlan.
Some work on fundamentals in the next few days will undoubtedly lead to even more days with no lapses.
"We’ve shown this weekend that we can play with everyone," McLachlan remarked.
The team will travel to Edmonton in two weeks to do battle again and finish what they’ve started with U of A and the rest of the Canada West Conference.