Sullivan won’t let balls penetrate

By John Fisher

A lot was riding on the Dinos women’s soccer team as they kicked off their season with a home stand doubleheader this weekend at the new University of Calgary pitch. Despite the lack of bleachers, parking uncertainties and a very “interesting” play-by-play by the DJ/PA announcer, the Dinos welcomed their new home with a dominating pair of shutout wins.

Foul language and physical play described the aptly named University of Saskatchewan Huskies in game one. Like a three legged dog, they wandered clumsily around the pitch while our Dinos demonstrated elegance and grace in their two goal victory Sat., Sept. 18. In an all-Calgary first half, the posts and crossbars were the only saving grace for the Huskies until co-captain Joan Hall hammered a top-corner tally off a beautiful setup by veteran mid, Diana Hunter.

Knowing their fate lay in the pound, Saskatchewan tried to win the second half by using their size advantage (or was it a disadvantage?). The Huskies’ Adrienne Stinson was certainly in the dog house after stepping all over Calgary mid Jess Horning, then laying her rear-end heavily into talented co-captain Megan Dourado. Instead of sinking to Stinson’s level, Dourado opted for the “crossbar and in” approach as she unleashed a cannon from well behind the 30-yard line which left Huskies goalkeeper Codi Corrigan with her tail between her legs. Like a dog without a bone, the opposition packed it in and the Dinos coasted to a well deserved 2-0 victory.

Sunday’s match was more indicative of the Dino’s skill against a highly talented University of Alberta Pandas squad. The Pandas held a much coveted playoff position last year and certainly look to be an important rival in the upcoming season. The first half of the match was held in close competition due to a couple of strikes off the uprights by the Dinos and stellar goalkeeping by our own Charlotte Sullivan.

Coming into the second half, the Dinos sharpened their teeth and prepared to prey! 53 minutes into the second half, star midfielder Jess Horning unleashed a left-footed blast that soared past grounded Pandas goalkeeper Carol Chan. Two minutes later, Dinos forward Stephanie Hoogveld showed her undeniable skill as she turned the defender on the right edge of the box, freeing up enough space to let loose the Dinos second tally of the match.

Seeing their own species near extinction, the Pandas decided to turn the tables and pepper Sullivan with shots from all angles. Needless to say, Sullivan blocked all shots with unbelievable acrobatics and incredible style that lead to her back to back shut-out weekend.

For her incredible efforts, Sullivan was named Canada West Female Athlete of the Week.

Towards the end of the match, in a show of frustration, Pandas midfielder Michelle Dahlbeck “tragically” dropped a “hip” into speedy Dinos defencewoman Renae Hunter, resulting in a penalty kick. Luckily, the veteran prowess of Hunter’s defence partner Erin Ramsay converted this opportunity into another Dinos goal.

Three notches on the scoreboard was enough to send the Pandas back to the zoo as the Dinos left their first weekend of play undefeated, gaining six well deserved points.

Check out the Dinos Sat., Sept. 25 as they hope to continue their undefeated streak against the defending Canada West champions, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The match is set for 12 p.m. at the new pitch and parking is now (thankfully) free.

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