Dino’s magical shutout streak ends

By Kris Kotarski

It was perhaps the greatest streak University of Calgary soccer has ever seen. Suffocating defensive play and brilliant goaltending by second-year standout Taryn Swiatek positioned the Dinos on top of the Canada West standings. They were also perfect; six shutouts in six tries. Saturday’s game started like any other for the Dinos this season, with a lead. Leanne Pelosi scored the first goal in the 22nd minute and the women were once again on top. But then it happened. The amazing streak ended at 565 minutes into the season on a cool, breezy afternoon, when University of Victoria forward Jacqueline Harrison put a shot past Swiatek to tie the game at 1-1. There was a collective sigh among Dinos’ fans, perhaps sadness, or maybe relief that the pressure to be perfect was no longer haunting the team. The game would end 2-2, with Leanne Pelosi scoring twice for the home side, but the story of the game was the end of the scoreless streak.

"Taryn [Swiatek] came to see me after the game and we agreed that it was good," said Head Coach Robin Slot.

"We showed we can pick ourselves up after a goal," added Dinos midfielder Katie Lee.

With the streak over, Calgary had another goal in mind for Sunday’s matchup with the University of British Columbia. The women hoped to stay undefeated and they did just that. The Dinos controlled the tempo of the game, especially in the second half, where they earned countless scoring opportunities. Forward Megan Durado was hauled down by the UBC goaltender late in the second half which should have given Calgary a man advantage. However, a questionable no-call by the referee gave the Dinos a free kick but no red card for the UBC player, and Calgary couldn’t score.

The scoreless tie, the most exciting of all soccer contests, ensured Calgary a chance at top spot over their west-coast rivals on the road to the Canada West playoffs in Victoria If the Dinos win their last two games of the season they will go into the Canada West finals as the number one seed, ensuring they don’t play a team from British Columbia until the final.

"We didn’t have our best two games," remarked Lee. "But we’d rather tie them now and crush them in the playoffs."

Next up for the Dinos are two away games against their provincial rivals from Edmonton and a tough team from the prairies of Saskatchewan, two games the Dinos must win. This will be the last test before a playoff tournament in Victoria on Nov. 4-5.

"These two teams are fighting for a playoff spot and they’ve been competitive," said Slot of his opponents.

"They’ll be a good warm-up," added an enthusiastic Lee.

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