Hard to dispute that when you let in three goals in a 10-game season.
This was one hell of a team. It really was. Three goals allowed in a 10-game regular season. First Team All-Canadian and Canada West MVP honours for goalie Taryn Swiatek. Their season was as close to perfection as you can ask for. And then IT happened. They lost their hopes of a national title run to the University of Alberta in a shootout. A damn shootout. It brought a tear to my eye, and probably sent many Dinos fans into an uncontrollable fit of rage in protest of this injustice. The team did kick ass though, with Leanne Pelosi, Katie Lee and Megan Durado leading the attack and Juliamai Giffen anchoring the league-leading defence. And then there was Swiatek, the best damn goaltending show this side of Toldo.
The women practised outside until there was snow on the ground. The snow fell, and they put on some sweats and practised some more. Aside from the tackling, that fact makes them just as tough as the football players. Besides, any team with Katie Lee will get an A. Even lawn-bowling
The women were playing within a new system put in place by Head Coach Robin Slot. Whatever that system was, it paid off. The three goals allowed were not a fluke, but the effect of a stifling defence,
heads-up play in the midfield and good positioning by Swiatek. The undefeated season was also quite a turnaround for a team that didn’t see playoff action the year before.
It was a shame to see this team finally go down in a shootout. The soccer gods were not smiling on them when an Alberta player got
to retake her shot twice due to Swiatek moving off the line early in an effort to win the semi-final game at Canada West’s. The good news is that all but one player, captain Juliamai Giffen, will be returning next fall to avenge their early playoff exit. It’s hard to deny this team an A. But for one game against Alberta, they were less than stellar and they couldn’t put our northern rivals away. Too bad, they had a great shot at the national championship.
Food this team makes me think of: Chocolate. Sweet and milky at the beginning, until the very last bite when it turns very, very bitter.