The Bison women’s soccer team has picked up their first win of the season, and it came against the U of W Wesmen in the first matchup of the 2013 Duckworth Challenge.
The two teams met at the U of M Turf Field on a brisk September evening under the lights. First-year Bison head coach Vanessa Martinez-Lagunas was hoping to see more goals from her team; the Bisons only scored twice through the first four games of the season.
There were decent chances at both ends of the field in the first half, but neither team could hit the net. The Bisons were the clear aggressors, taking 12 shots to the Wesmen’s four, but needed to find their aim if they were to fix their scoring woes.
Manitoba continued to put pressure on the Wesmen defenders in the second half. Rookie Courtney Addison was able to make space for herself whenever she touched the ball, but neither team could find the net. Danielle Scerbo was subbed in for Addison around the 60th minute, and the second-year forward made an immediate impact.
In the 64th minute, Scerbo got the ball to Robyn Kastner, who put it home from the top of the box for the first goal of the game. The goal brought the Wesmen to life, as they pushed back in an attempt to tie the game. The Wesmen’s best chance for a second goal came on a corner kick in the 78th minute, but the Bisons snuffed the threat.
The Bisons put the game away in the 83rd minute. Defender Elyce Molyneaux crossed the ball into the area and Laura Stewart finished it with a header that found the net. The Bisons held on for their first victory of the season.
Coach Martinez-Lagunas, fresh off her first win as a Bison head coach, had some encouraging words for her team’s development through the first five games of the season.
“I am really proud of my team. [ . . . ] our goals were first to keep a shutout and also to win the game.”
“We have worked really hard in improving our effectiveness at scoring goals, which was a problem in our first four games,” said Martinez-Lagunas. “We worked really hard on that aspect for two weeks, and you could see that it’s taking effect.”
The Bisons (1-3-1) will be looking for their second win this weekend, as they host the Alberta Pandas (5-0-1) on Sept. 28 and the Mount Royal Cougars (2-4) on Sept 29.