The University of Manitoba women’s soccer program wrapped up their home schedule with two losses this weekend. On Friday Manitoba fell 1-0 to the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves and on Saturday lost by the same score to the MacEwan University Griffins.
Manitoba is now 3-6-3 heading into the final weekend of Canada West action, and are clinging on to the last playoff position in the Prairie division.
Timberwolves forward Sidney Roy scored the eventual game winner in the 20th minute, to snap Manitoba’s four game unbeaten streak on Friday.
Manitoba put the pressure on for an equalizer and came closest in the 29th minute when Bison midfielder Amanda Wong fired a low, hard shot from the 18-yard line but Timberwolves goalkeeper Brooke Molby dived to make the stop.
Roy almost had another goal in the 32nd minute. Bison defender Kailyn Balfour mishandled a pass and Roy swooped in to take the ball on goal. With no one to beat but Bison goalkeeper Maddie Wilford, Roy chipped the ball just over the bar.
The second half was largely dominated by the Bisons, desperate to tie the game to keep their four game unbeaten streak alive. In the 74th minute, Bison forward Alyssa Daley forced her way into UNBC’s 18-yard box and dropped a pass for midfielder Rebecca Martin. Martin took a touch, and curled a shot just wide of a diving Molby.
“We need to be lethal, you have one or two chances you need to make sure you put it in, because if you don’t and the other team scores on their chances then you lose the game,” Bison head coach Vanessa Martinez Lagunas said of her team squandering their chances.
A Suekiana Choucair penalty kick in the 68th minute was all this match needed for the Griffins to hand the Bisons a 1-0 loss on Saturday.
The Griffins dominated the early goings of the match, with Choucair forcing Wilford into a save off a free kick in the second minute. The match started to open up in the middle of the first half, with both teams getting chances off the counter. Bison fullback Hayley Ward had a good chance in the 14th minute, but Griffins goalkeeper Emily Burns was equal to the task.
In the 37th minute, Choucair sent Meagan Lemoine in on goal, but a sliding Wilford put an end to the scoring opportunity. Wilford made 13 saves in the loss.
Manitoba nearly broke the deadlock just before halftime when Bison midfielder Hailey Lavarias sent a through ball to Sara Schur into the MacEwan 18-yard box. Griffins defender Jamie Erickson made a superb sliding tackle, however, to stymie Schur.
Choucair was at the centre for another MacEwan chance, when she sent a free kick just over the bar in the 50th minute. Five minutes later, Lemoine fed a beautiful cross to Raeghan McCarthy, but Wilford swallowed up the shot.
A penalty which caused a stir on the Bisons bench was slotted home cooly by Choucair to give the Griffins a 1-0 lead. The Griffins almost doubled their lead a few minutes later, but Kaylin Hermanutz chipped the ball just wide. Hermanutz had another chance to add insurance with a curled effort from the 18-yard box, but Wilford was there again to save it.
Manitoba threw numbers forward in the latter stages of the game to try to equalize. Perhaps their best chance came when Martin pounced on a loose ball at the top of the 18-yard box but volleyed it over the net. The Bisons were unable to come up with a goal, dropping their second straight game.
Manitoba will wrap up their regular season on the road against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and University of Regina Cougars on Oct. 21-22.