Keeping Up With the Cougars
Soccer season continues
Author: Stephen Hodgson – Contributor
The past few weeks have been a mixed bag of fortune for the Cougars soccer team’s season. After a somewhat non-starter against the Wesmen and the Bisons, the team lost out hard against the Calgary Dinos on the road, and were held to a rather misleading draw against the Lethbridge Pronghorns. Minus the result against the Dinos, inches were beginning to define the difference between a 3-1-0 season and a 0-3-1 season.
The following weekend saw the Cougars back in the Queen City, hoping to take home the points against the MacEwan Griffins and the Mount Royal Cougars. Before the games had even begun there was an announcement by the league concerning the Winnipeg game from a fortnight previous. Due to the visiting team fielding an academically ineligible player, the result had been overturned in Regina’s favour. The Cougars’ record took a turn for the better, becoming 1-2-1 going into the fifth game of the season, and spirits were running high. The Cougars knew what had to be done to take the game to the opposition and had worked hard all week to hone their tactics for the games ahead.
Regina Cougars 0 – 1 Macewan Griffins
The tempo against MacEwan quickly jumped up a notch as the game began, with both teams matching one another pound-for-pound across the park. Sadly, before the pressure could prove telling for either side, an element of ill-officiating made its mark on the game. Prior to the half-hour mark, the ball took an awkward bound in the centre of the field. For reasons that remain to be seen, the MacEwan player that attempted to win the ball dove into the challenge head first. Tove Werner, attempting to claim possession, only had eyes for the ball and was consequently felled for her efforts. Sometimes a decision can go against the logical conclusion of preceding events. This was one of those occasions, and the free kick was awarded against Werner. Indicating to both teams to wait for the whistle before continuing play, the official turned his back on the play and blew the whistle before assuming a commanding position of the game situation or facing the play. A quickly taken free kick, missed by the officials, caught the Cougars napping, and a quick transition down the right hand side found its way to Isabella Ponciano, who swung the ball across the face of goal for Meagan Lemoine to slot home. Unfortunately, this goal defined the game and the Cougars were understandably disappointed.
|#12, #19||#12, #19|
MVP: Tove Werner
Regina Cougars 1 – 1 Mount Royal
The second game, against Mount Royal, took place on an extremely windy day, and was undoubtedly a game where the Cougars needed to take all three points. If the first 25 minutes were anything to go by, then the team were going to storm to a rampant victory. Dominating possession, the Cougars managed to force a corner in the 28th minute. After meeting a corner strongly to force a save from the goalkeeper, Daniela Castro was able to follow up and head home fiercely to put the Cougars into the lead. The Cougars had several chances to add to their lead, but a combination of bad finishing and a slight lack of concentration hampered their success in front of goal. Somehow, against the run of play, Mount Royal were able to sneak an equalizer in the 68th minute and the Cougars found themselves asking the same resounding question: “How did we let them off the hook?”
MVP: Daniela Castro
Two weeks ago, the Cougars travelled out to British Columbia to take on the UBC Thunderbirds and Victoria Vikes. 1-3-2 at this point in the season certainly was not what the team had hoped for, but anybody that had attended these games can attest to the fact that they should have come away with more given their prominence on the field. Looking ahead to the British Columbia fixtures, the team knew that these were going to be two of the hardest tests for them, but the Cougars went there to perform and get the results.
UBC Thunderbirds 3 – 0 Regina Cougars
The Cougars knew that their trip to BC was going to be extremely difficult. Unfortunately, the first game lived up to this hype. In the 11th minute of the first half, Amrit Berar was felled in the penalty area. Unfazed, Berar took the spot kick herself and tucked the ball past Savannah Williams. The Cougars were able to hold back a torrent of attacks from the Thunderbirds for a good half an hour before the pressure proved telling once more. After being awarded a corner kick in the 43rd minute, the Thunderbirds were able to find Krista Whittaker who headed home to double the leading margin. If the Cougars were counting on a reprieve before half-time they were ultimately disappointed; in added time of the first-half UBC’s Jasmin Dhanda was able to find the time to cross the ball to Madison Guy, who successfully made it a three-goal lead for the Thunderbirds.
The Cougars were able to regroup in the second half and stifle the previously ruthless Thunderbird offense; the defense hardened over the remainder of the game, and the game finished at the same score it had been at half time.
MVP: Celia Michaud
Victoria Vikes 1 – 0 Regina Cougars
Eager to put the results of the previous day behind them, the Cougars took to the field against their second British Columbia opponent of the weekend: the Victoria Vikes. the first 20 minutes of the game were a relatively balanced affair, with both sides having possession and creating opportunities. Karlee Vorrieter saw one of her shots saved by Victoria’s goalkeeper, Meaghan Storie, in the 6th minute and both sides were working hard towards taking the lead. For some reason the remainder of the half saw the Cougars drop away from the game and the Vikes assert their dominance of the possession, and the game. Chance after chance came Victoria’s way but Savannah Williams proved the best of the opportunities and the game remained tied at 0-0 at half-time.
The second half saw the introduction of a couple of new players for the Cougars, but it took until the hour mark for the team to finally begin to make their mark on the game. Following a sustained period of Cougar pressure, the Vikes were finally able to break the deadlock. A scramble in the area, after a Victoria free kick from the left hand side of the field, the ball found its way to Caitlin Milham who placed the it over Williams to give the Vikes the lead. This goal proved to be the decider of the game. Late in added time, Shayla Kapila, corner, had the opposition rushing to deal with the threat; on this occasion they were successful in clearing the ball and alleviating the pressure.
MVP: Savannah Williams