With a win and a draw in their premiere weekend, the Manitoba Bisons women’s soccer team left Regina and Saskatoon having gained some momentum in the CIS regular season.
Things didn’t go exactly to plan in their 3-2 loss against the Saskatchewan Huskies, but the Bisons regrouped to defeat the Regina Cougars 2-1 the very next day.
University of Saskatchewan
In last season’s meeting, the Huskies won the fixture 3-1 on Manitoba’s home turf, and the herd was looking to exact some revenge in 2015.
Alyssa Robinson gave the Bisons the perfect start when she opened the scoring after 17 minutes. Down 1-0, the Huskies began to launch a series of on-target shots hoping to break through.
Eventually, Saskatchewan caught a break when Kelly Cerkowniak drew a foul inside the penalty area. The midfielder converted the penalty to equalize just minutes before the halftime whistle.
The home side took the lead 2-1 just five minutes after the restart, with striker Leesa Eggum scoring her first goal of the season. The Bisons responded through Bruna Mavginier, pouncing on a Huskies mis-clearance to equalize just three minutes later. The goal marked Mavignier’s team-leading third goal of the season.
The Bisons’ dreams of clinching a win at Saskatchewan collapsed when the Huskies bagged a late lead from Cerkowniak’s second strike of the match. The home side eventually held on for a 3-2 victory.
Manitoba fought hard, snatching the lead and equalizing after giving it away. Yet they fell victim to Saskatchewan’s consistent attack, producing 25 attempts on goal to the Bisons’ five.
University of Regina
Having lost their first match of the season on Saturday, Manitoba’s fiery attitude would be on full display at Regina’s expense.
The Bisons made one noteworthy change from their defeat to Saskatchewan. Martinez-Lagunas replaced captain and starting goalkeeper Chloe Werle with Martina Arran ahead of their clash at Regina.
Looking to avenge their first loss of the season, Manitoba broke through inside the opening 15 minutes. Mavignier played the final ball for Robinson, who scored her second goal in two matches. The Brazilian continued to dominate the first half, scoring her fourth goal of the season less than two minutes later.
The Cougars came closest to beating Arran when Swedish midfielder Tove Werner struck the bar midway through the first half, but the Bisons lucked out and took their 2-0 lead into the halftime break.
Manitoba introduced freshman goalkeeper Madison Wilford for the second 45 minutes, and despite giving up a goal, she held strong to ensure the victory.
Regina’s bid for a comeback was sparked by a late marker from midfielder Celia Michaud, but that would be the closest the Cougars would get.
With a crucial three points collected in their two performances on the weekend, Manitoba retains first-place ranking in the Prairie division of Canada West. Mavignier’s four goals in the season also ranks within the top 10 goal leaders in the CIS.
The Manitoba Bisons continue on the road next weekend as they take on the MacEwan Griffins and the Calgary Dinos.