This past weekend, the University of Manitoba’s women’s soccer team opened up their 2016 regular season with a split on the road. On Friday, the Bisons lost to the Alberta Pandas 2-0 in Edmonton, but bounced back to defeat the UNBC Timberwolves 5-0 in Prince George.
In their first game of the year, the Bisons were outplayed by the Alberta Pandas in a 2-0 loss. The Pandas opened up the scoring in the 33rd minute when Brenna Mattiello fired home on a cross from Sydney Daines. Bison keeper Maddie Wilford was peppered with shots in the first half, which continued throughout the game. Wilford made 11 saves on the evening.
The second half saw the Pandas press hard for a second goal and they eventually got it in the 88th minute, when Madison Szafranski chipped a rebound over Wilford to put the nail in the coffin of the Bisons.
Manitoba had a chance to equalize through Selina Sperenza when she fired a low hard shot in the 80th minute that was easily saved. In the end, the Bisons only managed three shots on target.
After a disappointing effort on Friday, the Bisons came back in a big way against the University of Northern British Columbia. It took until the 41st minute, but the Bisons opened up the scoring through Sara Schur when she slotted home after a turnover.
Two minutes later, Sperenza, who looked dangerous on Friday, doubled the Bisons’ lead before the stroke of halftime. Sperenza would pick up where she left off in the second half, netting two more goals in quick succession to earn the hat trick. She hit the back of the net with every shot she took on Sunday and now has a .375 shooting percentage.
Alyssa Daley put the nail in the coffin of the Timberwolves in the 74th minute with a shot off the post from a bad angle. Amanda Wong had three assists on the day in a dominant midfield display. Wilford played excellent in between the sticks again, making five saves to get her first clean sheet of the year.
The Bisons are now 1-1 and are sitting fourth in the Prairie division. The herd takes on the Saskatchewan Huskies and the Regina Cougars next weekend at home.