By John Fisher
As predicted by their Head Coach Robin Slot earlier in the year, the Dinos women’s soccer team has achieved a berth in this year’s Canada West playoffs in Vancouver! Going into last weekend, the girls’ playoff hopes were in critical condition as the University of Alberta Pandas started closing the gap on the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Dinos’ first game Sat., Oct. 30 against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns was a little disheartening. Although they played well, the Dinos’ tying goal was called back causing them to lose 2-1. They remained optimistic that Sunday’s outcome would be better, despite the loss.
Game two, Sun., Oct. 31, against the U of L saw a resurgent Dinos squad in the first half. Despite their chances, the stingy Pronghorn goalkeeper held our girls to only one goal. Things looked good going into the second half as the Dinos were up 1-0 and the playoffs seemed closer in the must-win match.
As the second half started, the cold weather began to set in and the Dinos, through some confusion, let the Pronghorns get the tying goal. Minutes later off a free kick, the Pronghorns took advantage of a slow setup by the Dinos and booted a powerful drive past the defensive line and into the net for a 2-1 Lethbridge lead.
Things got worse for the Dinos; they suffered a huge loss when talented defencewoman Renae Hunter was on the receiving end of a clearing attempt as the ball was driven point blank into her face. Hunter suffered a solid hit in the eye and nose leaving her bloodied and disoriented. In a show of true sportswomanship, she was able to make it off the field on her own two feet. She did not return to action on Sunday as the Dinos lost their final home game of the regular season.
With hopes a little down, the Dinos headed into their final game against the University of Alberta Pandas Tue., Nov. 2 with a badly depleted roster due to injuries. It truly was a battle to the finish, as the winner would move on to playoff contentions.
Our Dinos showed the type of moxie that got them this far. After a well fought battle, the Dinos sent the Pandas into permanent extinction as they won 1-0 and secured the fourth and final playoff berth.
The Dinos hope to continue their conquest for victory as they play the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds Sat., Nov. 6 in the first round of the Canada West playoffs. The winner of the match will play in the final game on Sun., Nov. 7. Good luck ladies!
The Dinos’ spirited captain Megan Dourado was named to the Canada West women’s first all-star team and the second all-star team in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league. Congratulations Megan!