Offence explodes in crucial win for women’s soccer

Nathan Crosby, Sports Editor  Ω

Goals were hard to come by for the women’s soccer team in September; but October came and a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Island University Mariners showed the team is starting to click.

The players and crowd sat through a chilly and damp game on Oct. 1 at Hillside Stadium.

Weather didn’t play a factor though, as positivity rang through the WolfPack’s leadership as they battled to improve to two wins, three draws and a loss — two points behind first-place UBCO.

The first goal came early in the game at the ninth minute. Third-year Alanna Bekkering’s corner kick was perfectly executed to give Ashley Piggot her first of two goals in the game when she bumped the ball off her head into the back of the net.

Piggot was named the game’s “Leader of the ‘Pack” for her strong offensive performance.

“For the first goal, everyone was rushing in and left me all alone. I saw it coming across perfectly and the goalie went for it and I was all alone to put it in the back of the net,” she said. Her second goal came at the 57th minute, again from the foot of Alanna Bekkering on a corner kick.

“For the second one, it was just one of those garbage goals, but you got to finish those and I did.”

Piggot’s two goals gave the ‘Pack a comfortable lead, but VIU didn’t concede. Keeper Emily Edmundson made a great save on Mariners forward Mariah Robinson, and Robinson then collected her own rebound and went top shelf on the WolfPack keeper to shorten the lead to 2-1 at the 67th minute.

Three minutes later, TRU responded when they got a lucky bounce off a Mariners defender after a shot by WolfPack rookie Emily Oliver was initially blocked.

Head coach Tom McManus said his team is constantly improving on their shooting, and thus, keeping him happy with the performance and growth of the team.

“We scored three goals this game, which is something we’ve been struggling with all season. We’ve been gelling together and hopefully we can finish,” he said.

“I thought our mid-field did very well, and to be honest, I think it was a great team performance today. I think we closed everything down that we practiced all week, and we picked our game up and the girls did what we asked them to do.”

As cold as it was on the field with the rain lasting half of the game, the WolfPack were able to let their aggressive play control the game. With only five games left in the season, the team seemed to play with alertness that every win will be important at this stage.

“We want to keep the goals down,” McManus said about his defence.

“We’ve allowed five in the first four games and that’s just not good enough. But as long as we’re scoring, I’m happy.”

It seems the offence is figuring it out at the right time for the WolfPack, and with the post-season approaching, it couldn’t have happened any later if they hope to be involved.