Soccer women anything but on the ball

By Kevin Rothbauer

After a promising opening-game victory, the Dinos women’s soccer team stumbled last weekend on a trip to the Pacific coast.

While it may not hurt quite as much as stepping barefoot on a sea urchin, losing consecutive games early in a short season doesn’t exactly feel good.

On Saturday, the Dinos played to a 2-1 score against the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, with veteran forward Leanne Pelosi scoring the visitors’ lone goal. The Dinos hit Vancouver Island on Sunday, but the change of scenery did them no good as they lost 2-0 to the University of Victoria Vikings.

"We deserved to lose," said Robin Slot, bluntly. "Because of inconsistent play. Not everyone was pulling their own weight. Team effort is a big thing. In this league, if you’re [playing inconsistently], you’re going to find yourself in trouble."

The main problem, as Slot pointed out, was not staying on the ball when it mattered most.

"All our goals-against resulted from dead ball situations," he lamented. "There was a lack of commitment to get to dead balls."

The six teams in the Canada West conference are all very close in terms of talent. Even though the season is only three games old, the Dinos’ record of 1-2 puts their national title in jeopardy. Still, Slot is far from ready to give up on his team.

They’re all strong sides, as are we," he related. "[The Dinos] just have to learn to play consistently. The work rate has to be there."

Next weekend the Dinos will be back at home hosting the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the University of Alberta Pandas. The Huskies, who will visit on Saturday, have an identical record to the Dinos, while the Pandas are slightly better, at 2-1. With the high level of parity in the conference this season, records mean nothing and anything can happen.

As far as preparation goes, Slot has a few things he wants to work on with the team, but his primary concern is consistency, which can’t be practiced.

"That has to come from them," he explained. "I can tell them about it until I’m blue in the face. Obviously, we want to instill a little more intensity which hopefully carries over into the game."

The Dinos are playing their home games this season at the Calgary Soccer Centre, located at 7000- 48 St. S.E. Both games this weekend are at noon.

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