Women’s soccer team earns playoff berth with win over the Vikes

Bisons' #32 Hailey Lavarias scores a goal in the first half with assistance from #10 Alanna Shaw, against the Victoria Vikes. Photo by Miguel Yetman

On Sunday, the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s soccer team defeated the Victoria Vikes in what was a must-win game for the herd. This is the first time since 2009 that the Bisons have beaten the Vikes in regular season action. With the win, the Bisons are now locked into the final playoff spot and play their first playoff game next weekend.

The two teams were feeling each other out to begin the game, and it wasn’t until the 38th minute that rookie midfielder Hailey Lavarias scored her first CIS goal of her young Bisons career. The goal came on a nice pass from Alanna Shaw, and Lavarias took a shot from way out and placed the ball perfectly in the top corner to give the Bisons a 1-0 lead. The Bisons held that lead heading into halftime.

Head coach Vanessa Martinez Laguanas spoke postgame about how important it was to hold the lead in the second half of games.

“There were two other games where we were leading, and we let the lead go,” she said. “We need to make sure we learned our lesson and we need to manage the game properly.”

The Vikes came out more aggressive in the second half. Maddie Wilford had to make one of her seven saves on the day on a point-blank shot midway through the second half but was able to punch out the rebound. In the 88th minute, Bisons midfielder Chelsea Dubiel sent the ball down the field to senior Selina Speranza, who was too fast for the Vikes defenders and was able to get it past the goalie to add an insurance goal.

Speranza spoke postgame about her final home game as a Bison and the upcoming game against Calgary.

“Scoring in the last home game that I played in for the Bisons was really icing on the cake,” she said.

“We’ve played them before so we know what we have to work on, especially with our defense and attack,” she said. “We played good against them last time, so I think we have a chance against them this weekend.”


The Bisons will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 29 as they travel to Calgary to begin their playoff run against the Dinos.