This weekend, the University of Manitoba Bison women’s soccer team opened their season at home with a goalless draw against Regina on Friday, and a 3-2 win over Saskatchewan on Saturday.
The Bisons and Regina Cougars opened their seasons on Friday with a scoreless draw.
Despite the lack of goals, there were plenty of chances for both teams. The Cougars dominated the early goings of the first half with plenty of ball possession. Bison goalkeeper Justina Jarmoszko was up to the task however, making several clearances.
At the other end of the field, Regina keeper Savannah Williams was not to be outdone. In the middle of the half Bison midfielder Sara Schur whipped in a hard cross, but Williams stymied her with her outstretched hand.
A few minutes later, Bison midfielder Hailey Lavarias set up Florin Wagner on a counter attack, but Wagner whiffed on the shot and it went over the crossbar.
Wagner had another chance towards the end of the half when she fired a high free kick from well outside the 18-yard box. Williams did well to track the ball and managed to tip it over for a corner kick.
The Cougars came the closest to scoring approximately halfway through the second half, Jarmoszko came out to play the ball but had the bounce over her and hit the post.
In the 75th minute, Huskie midfielder Kirsten Finley was alone on goal, but she had her shot go over the net. Both teams threw everything they had at each other and it was a well deserved draw according to Bisons head coach Vanessa Martinez-Lagunas.
“I think both teams played really well, both teams were attacking from one side to the other,” she said. “There are many things we need to improve on, especially our final pass in the attacking third, we created lots of chances but we need to put it in.”
Led by Wagner’s brace, the Bisons handed the Huskies their first loss of 2017 by a score of 3-2 on Saturday.
It was a fast paced and intense match despite both teams playing the night before.
Wagner was buzzing during the first half, firing off a few shots, but Saskatchewan goalkeeper Kyleigh Vause was up to the task. In the 25th minute, Shur scored the first Bison goal of 2017. Schur got on the end of a cross from Lavarius to give the Bisons the lead.
Saskatchewan drew level in the 53rd minute via midfielder Megan Ripplinger. Ripplinger beat out a rushing Jarmoszko and tapped the ball into the far corner.
The Bisons regained the lead just a couple minutes later when Wagner scored her first of two off a free kick from the half way line.
“I felt good today,” Wagner said. “The ball is good, the wind is there and I just tried it.”
The Huskies had a golden opportunity to tie the game when Kayla Ahenakew sent in a low cross to Taneil Gay, but Jarmoszko made a diving goal line save to retain the Bison lead.
Manitoba added insurance in the 84th minute when Wagner pounced on a loose ball in the six-yard box to make it 3-1. The Huskies pushed late, adding a goal to make it close, but were unable to find the equalizer.
Martinez-Lagunas was proud of her team’s resiliency in the match.
“I love the attitude of our players in that right away they answered,” she said. “We showed them that we don’t give up and even if they get one we can respond with two more.”
The Bisons head out west to play the Victoria Vikes and UBC Okanagan on Sept. 15-16.