The University of Manitoba women’s soccer team raised eyebrows on Friday during the second day of the women’s soccer national championships.
The Bisons ran rampant in the first half against the University of Guelph Gryphons, scoring five goals en route to a 5-1 win in the second consolation semifinal. The Bisons will play the University of Victoria Vikes in the consolation final on Sunday. The Vikes were victorious after beating the Laval University Rouge et Or on penalties.
Guelph vs. Manitoba
Bison captain Amanda Wong made history when she scored in the fourth minute off a half volley, rocketing the ball into the net, and the Bisons into the lead. Wong became the first Bison to ever score at the national championships.
“It was pretty awesome, it was awesome for me but it awesome for the team I think it really got us going in the fourth minute,” she said after the game. “I think it’s just what we needed in this tournament to kick start us and get us going.”
Manitoba kept pressing, and were rewarded in the 16th minute when Hailey Lavarias capitalized on a failed clearing attempt. A minute later Rebecca Martin got on the end of a long ball from Florin Wagner and sent in a looping shot from the top of the box to fool Gryphons keeper Libby Brenneman.
It didn’t stop there however, fifth year forward Alyssa Daley was sent in on goal by Lavarias in the 26th minute and had her shot go off Brenneman’s leg and trickle into the far corner. Just before the half was up, Martin got her second of the afternoon when she poked home a rebound after a corner kick.
Guelph pulled one back via Victoria Hinchcliffe to spoil the clean sheet, but it was not nearly enough. The Bisons now have a shot to finish in fifth place on Sunday in the consolation final against the Victoria Vikes.
“We wanted a second chance,” said Bison head coach Vanessa Martinez Lagunas. “In these games it’s all about bouncing back and learning from your defeats and those defeats make you stronger and I think the girls have shown it today.”
Laval vs. Victoria
The Rouge et Or were certainly not expecting to going home as early as they have at this year’s U SPORTS women’s soccer national championships, as they came into this tournament as defending champions. Laval largely dominated the run of play, with many chances throughout the first half.
In the second half they upped it a notch pressuring the Vikes hard, and not allowing them out of their own half. This game had to be decided by the lottery that is the penalty shootout, with Vikes goalkeeper Puck Louwes coming in clutch for Victoria, making two stops in the shootout. The Vikes won 4-1 after Brea Christie slotted home in the left corner.
“Laval is a fantastic soccer team, they have a fantastic soccer program,” said head coach Tracy David after the game. “To be able to play against the defending national champions is really an honour for us. That’s how we got motivated because we know that they are the measuring stick.”
Vikes ‘keeper Louwes was the obstacle Laval could not overcome, and she was not even watching the penalty shootout.
“I just can’t do it, I face away I put my head down and I listen for the swish of the ball going into the back of the net,” she said. “Every time I was waiting for the ding of it hitting the post or thump of it hitting the goalie glove but hearing that swish every time was great.”
The tournament shifts to the championship side of the bracket, with Cape Breton playing Western at 1 p.m. and Montreal playing Trinity Western at 4 p.m. Both games will be played at the Subway Soccer South Complex.