Cougars settle for season opening split


author: Nathan McCarville| sports writer

Cougars square off again / Cougars square off again

Women’s soccer begins year 1-1

The Cougars soccer team had a bit of a rocky start this weekend with their games against a couple of visiting Manitoba teams on the U of R field, though they were able to tie off the weekend right with a victory against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen during their Sunday game.  

The first game of the weekend was played against the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Bisons took the lead early in the game with a goal by Manitoba’s own Nicole Davis in the 14th minute of play. The more eventful second half saw a goal by Regina’s Brigit Sinaga assisted by her teammate #23 Kyra Vibert, scored just shy of the 60-minute mark. Nearly 19 minutes later, the Bisons scored once again in the 78th minute at the feet of Bison Hayley Ward, assisted by Nicole Davis who had previously pushed the Bisons up to 1 point early on.  

Playing hard and getting a point in the process, the conclusion of the game ended with the final score being 2-1 for the Bisons and a loss for the Cougars for the first game of their regular season.  

However, the Cougars decided not to make a pattern of the event. The very next day, the Cougars played against the Winnipeg Wesmen. The Wesmen were the first to take the lead in the Sunday match, Maeghan Lindsay scoring with the clock at 21:29. Though it wasn’t even two minutes later at 23:22 that Vibert found the back of the net with her teammate Sinaga at her side with the assist, making the loyal fans erupt in cheers for the home team. Less than 8 minutes later at 31:09, Vilbert scored yet another goal, Grace Miller with the assist, in what was the final goal of the game, solidifying the Cougars 2-1 lead against the Wesmen. For the rest of the game, the ball spent the majority of the game on the Wesmen’s end of the field, the Cougars keeping up the attack, the Cougars defense doing their duty to keep the ball away from the net, as well as goalkeeper Ashton Lowry blocking 5 out of 6 of the shots on goal the Cougars finishing the game with a win early on in the regular season. 

Speaking with Vibert right after the game in a slightly breathless interview, I was able to get some insight into how she and the team felt about the victory.  

On the subject of how it felt to get a lead of two points and keeping it so early on in the game, Vibert said, “We’ve been working on this for a long time. This is our team standard. We should expect this every single game. This is something we need to get used to.”  

As for a win so early in the season, the Cougars attaining a record of 1-0-1 for the season so far, Vibert said, “I think it’s awesome. It gives us a lot of momentum to keep working on and building towards.”  

For the contrast between the victorious Sunday game against the Wesmen and the Saturday game against the Bisons played the previous day, Kyra mentioned, “Everybody had the jitters and didn’t know what to expect. We weren’t always on the same page and kind of fell off here and there, we just got to pick each other back up and get back at it, there’s always two games in a weekend, you don’t win one you win the next.”  

The soccer team will be hitting the road this Friday for a game against the UNBC Timberwolves in Prince George, BC, and then a game in Edmonton against the MacEwan University Griffins on the following Sunday, so tune in to CanadaWestTV for the broadcast.

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