Women’s Soccer: Dinos battle Cougars, Bison

As the bitter cold mornings warn us that the next mini ice age is close, I am reminded of a tale passed down through generations and generations of my family since before the last glaciation. The story tells of soccer playing Dinosaurs who won their first ever conference title and put on a decent enough show for fourth at nationals.

These ancestors of mine were crystal ball readers watching last year’s Dinos women’s soccer team make history. Now, eight games deep, this year’s squad is poised to make another great run at a title. They added a tough tie and a win in their home games Sept. 30-Oct. 1 to bring their record to 5-1-2.

On Saturday, the University of Manitoba Bisons brought their Mr. T, A-Team, A-game and I pity the fool who was on that field. There was enough running up, down and across the pitch to tire a Kenyan marathon runner who had eaten his Wheaties for breakfast. Both teams created chances during the first half and Dinos rookie goaltender Courtney Heffernan showed she was worth her weight in platinum ice, robbing the Bison of goals like a platinum-ice-wearing rapper robs jewellery stores.

It wasn’t until after half-time that the first goal was finally scored. The freshly inspired Dinos stepped onto the field after the break, immediately applying pressure. Two minutes into the half a Dinos free kick bounced around in front of the net like the ball in a pinball machine until forward Stephanie Hoogveld finally got a piece of it and slipped it in.

Despite their one-goal lead, our ladies didn’t start sniffing the dying dandelions on their way up and down the field. Heffernan kept her net clear for another 20 minutes of play as both teams kept charging the net. A faint sigh of relief was heard as Dino Lindsay Burrowes booted the ball over the U of M’s defence and goalie for the Dinos’ second goal.

With plenty of regulation time left, the Dinos took a whale-sized deep breath and plunged ahead. Unfortunately those dirty U of M ladies still had a couple of harpoons in their dinghy. The first struck the Dinos shortly after their goal as a Bison’s forward managed to lodge a stray kick from Heffernan into the net.

Although their lead had called Jenny Craig and was quickly slimming, the Dinos managed to hold on until a Bison free kick turned into a free goal. The ball floated across the field like the Hindenburg and after connecting with a U of M player’s hydrogen-filled head, it exploded into the net, tying the game in the 89th minute and ending scoring for the day.

After the disappointing last-minute tie, the Dinos came out swinging on Sunday. While they didn’t have a second chance with the Bison, they did have a chance to humiliate the easy-to-mock University of Regina Cougars.

All Cougar references aside, the Dinos spent as much time in the U of R’s half as an alcoholic at the bar. Just as you’d run out of fingers to count the hours, you haven’t got enough fingers to count the Dinos’ shots on goal in the first half alone.

Despite our ladies’ 15 chips at the net, the Cougars’ goalie was resilient enough to let just two goals in. The first came from Andrea Hayes, the second from Morena Ianniello.

During the second half, the Cougars improved their shot count by one, totalling three lame excuses for shots on net for the half. But the Dinos’ keeper stayed strong, earning herself a shutout and a big smiley face sticker on her report card.

The Dinos’ offence, on the other hand, chuckled a care-free Ace Ventura-esque laugh and also upped their shot count by one. Again, the Cougars’ keeper was a brick wall, only letting one of 16 shots past her post. This time Jennifer Crack cracked a pass across the front of the net, allowing Katie Blundell to bounce in an exciting header and secure a 3-0 win for the Dinos.

The Dinos will be indulging in the turkey eating contest that is Thanksgiving as they take a break from the 9-5 soccer work day before returning to their home pitch for their next pair of games.

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