Women’s Soccer: Soccersaurs take hit, finish fifth in the West

The teams of British Columbia found the pot at the end of the rainbow Oct. 28-29. Instead of being reduced to giggling, nonsense-talking dopes with the munchies, the University of Victoria Vikes and University of British Columbia Thunderbirds found the necessary strength to send the Dinos women’s soccer team home with a loss, a tie and a goofy smile in their pair of matches over the weekend.

On Saturday, our ladies were in Victoria for a session with the Vikes, who wasted no time in sparking an early fire. They lit up with joy after a freakish goal just seven minutes into the game left the crowd dazed and confused. A UVic player managed to float a high ball over the Dinos’ goalie’s reach, hit the crosspipe and deflect the ball off the keeper’s back before it finally ended up in the net.

The Dinos had a chance soon after the goal as forward Morena Ianniello used her dizzying speed to blow by the huffing and puffing defenders, allowing her a one-on-one with the Vikes’ goalie. However, it wasn’t meant to be; the Vikes’ goaltender seemed to warp time and space as she dove to cover the ball.

The Vikes managed to get their stoke level up even higher in the 43rd minute when one of their players smoked the ball out from the Dinos’ defense and slipped it by the goalie into the net.

Despite being down by two, the Dinos didn’t forget the potential of a comeback. Twenty minutes into the half, Jessica Bush and Katie Blundell blazed down the centre of the pitch in a joint effort to get the Dinos back into the game. As they approached the net, Bush kept control of the ball long enough to draw the goalie towards her before a pass was left to Blundell, who lit up the goal.

However, the Dinos saw their comeback grind to a stop as the final minutes burned down with no more scoring on either side. The 2-1 loss left the Dinos hungry for a point in the standings on Sunday–a snack that would be difficult to steal from the T-Birds, who went into the match with seven consecutive shutouts.

But the Dinos made the trip to Vancouver to face the T-Birds in their home garden with high hopes. Fans packed the Thunderbowl, but the buzz began to wear off as the match remained scoreless at halftime. Neither team had many great opportunities stem from their rushes; UBC dealt a mere five shots to the Dinos and only got two in return.

In the second half, the sluggishly growing game began to bud. The T-Birds doubled their shot count to 10 while the Dinos more than doubled to five. However, despite some close calls on some corners and cross shots, the spliff-second reactions of the UBC goalie secured her an eighth consecutive shutout. Dinos’ goaltender Alana Knowles stashed away her third shutout of the season to save a tie and a point for the Dinos in the standings.

With the tie, the Dinos finish their regular season with a 6-4-4 record in fifth place in the Canada West conference. But their season is not a pile of ashes just yet; they qualify for playoffs and will travel to the University of Regina Nov. 2-5 to vie for their second consecutive CW title and a shot at the national crown. A total of six teams will be in attendance with four being weeded out. Those left standing travel to Victoria for nationals Nov. 9-12.
The Dinos play against the fourth-ranked Trinity Western University Spartans Thur., Nov. 2-a team they have tied once and fallen to once this year. Check out CanadaWest.org for more info.

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