Late goals were a source of disappointment for the Wesmen women’s soccer team during last weekend’s season opening. The Wesmen dropped both of their games 3-1 and 4-0 to the Regina Cougars and Saskatchewan Huskies, respectively.
On Friday night, Wesmen forward Shae-Lynn Dodds scored Winnipeg’s first goal of the season when she split the Regina defence and slipped the ball past Regina goalkeeper Kylie Bolton.
The Wesmen held their one-goal lead late into the second half. However, the visitors soon rallied.
Regina, who had been pushing hard since the start of the second half, drew level with a goal from midfielder Jet Davies in the 71st minute.
The game looked like it was going to end in a 1-1 draw until, with just minutes to go, Regina’s Jessica Merk tapped in the rebound from a shot that was initially a brilliant save by Wesmen keeper Taryn Raabe on Cougar’s Kyra Vibert.
Moments later, Regina forward Olivia Gables notched the insurance marker, bringing the score to 3-1 in favour of the visitors.
The Wesmen were unrelenting in the remaining stoppage time, even ringing a shot off the crossbar, but Regina’s defence held fast, and the visitors spoiled the homeside’s season opener.
The next day’s match did not go any better for the home team, as they dropped the game 4-0 to the visiting Saskatchewan Huskies.
Huskies midfielder Taisa Gabruch opened the scoring in the 42nd minute and then scored again in the 64th minute, before logging the hat trick 10 minutes later.
The final goal would come in the 81st minute, when defender Kalli Cowles brought the score to 4-0 for the visitors.
Despite the setbacks on this opening weekend, there are some glimmers of hope for this young Wesmen season.
Dodds’ play on the front end was strong, and she looks set to carry on where she left off last season, during which she led the Wesmen in scoring with a club-record seven goals.
On the other end of the field, rookie goalkeeper Raabe’s ability to make big saves and control play in the 18-yard box shone through as a highlight for the Wesmen.
Raabe made 18 saves from 25 shots on goal between both games, including a 12-save parade in Friday’s season opener.
Published in Volume 74, Number 2 of The Uniter (September 12, 2019)