Resiliency was the key over the weekend for the Bison women’s soccer team, as they split a weekend set against the Mount Royal Cougars. After suffering a tough loss in the final minutes on Friday night, the team answered right back the following evening, showing tremendous character.
The Bisons found themselves in a tough spot early on Friday, surrendering two goals within the first 10 minutes of play.
Brianna Kiel opened the scoring for Mount Royal just 3:13 into the game, putting home a loose ball in front of the Bison net. Emily Sands added to the lead, off a beautiful pass from Kelsey Kinzner at 8:42.
Despite the ugly start, Manitoba stayed composed, putting pressure on the Cougars for the following 10 minutes. Bruna Mavignier got the Bisons on the board at 12:49, notching her team-leading third goal of the season.
The Bisons had a glorious chance to tie the game six minutes later, as Mount Royal goalie Meghan Prudhomme was assessed a yellow card, after challenging a ball and taking down a Bison player in the box. Manitoba was awarded a penalty kick, which defender Elyce Molyneaux took. Unfortunately for the Bisons, the shot was saved.
The rest of the half featured back and forth action, with each side putting shots on net, until Manitoba eventually tied things up. Highly touted rookie Amanda Wong placed a brilliant shot just past the bottom of the bar during injury time, as the teams went to the half even at two.
The second half was a defensive slugfest, with very little scoring opportunities from either team. Just as it appeared the game would end in a tie, Mount Royal would stick a dagger in the hearts of the Bisons. Reghan Zilkie would cash in on a corner kick in the 87th minute, heading home the game-winner with less than three minutes to play.
Manitoba responded in the rubber match, scoring all of their goals in a wild first half to secure a 3-1 victory.
Mavignier continued to impress for Manitoba, tallying her fourth and fifth goals of the season just five minutes apart. The first goal occurred 22 minutes in, and the second at 27 minutes. The five feet four inches tall forward is now tied for third in Canada West scoring.
Mount Royal would find the back of the net in the 33rd minute, as Karlee Hodl was able to solve Bison goalie Brittany Macsween, who was making her first two starts of the season over the weekend.
Sarah Haiko would answer right back three minutes later for the Bisons, putting the game to bed in the 36th minute to cap off the scoring.
The Bisons mustered up just one shot on goal in the final 45 minutes, compared to the Cougars’ seven. Macsween was the difference in the second half for Manitoba, stopping everything she faced to secure the 3-1 win.
The Bisons will return home this weekend, as they take on Alberta on Friday, Oct. 3, and Saturday, Oct. 4, with both games starting at 6 p.m.