There are lessons to be learned from Napoleon Bonaparte. Winter is a force to be reckoned with--whether on the desolate streets of 1807 Moscow, or in the equally desolate boulevards of modern day Edmonton. This is a truth the Dinos women's soccer team learned the hard way when they travelled to the great white north for a Wednesday afternoon tilt against the University of Alberta Pandas.
"It was freezing," said Dinos midfielder Leanne Pelosi after the Pandas handed the Dinos a 1-0 loss. "And the wind was really bad too."
Aside from the wretched elements of
Oct. 17, the Dinos also
had to defend against Pandas forward Aisha Alfa who was stellar for the home side and scored the only goal of the match.
"She had an excellent game," said Pelosi. "She was running at our defence all day."
Alfa put the ball in the Calgary net in the 47th minute when Dinos defender Stephanie Bourigault took an extra step and failed to clear the ball from the goal line. The goal was the only marker of the game and led to the Dinos second loss of the season.
"We have the Dino disease," Pelosi remarked. "We can't score. When it comes to the attacking third, we have problems. We're an excellent passing team but I don't know if we have any true scorers."
The Dinos' leading strikers so far this season are forward Katie Lee and midfielder Jessie Norrie. Norrie scored twice in the Dinos two weekend games. Her first of the weekend and fifth on the year came Sat., Oct. 13 against the same Pandas in Calgary where the Dinos earned a 1-1 draw. Down 1-0 after a Jackie Glessing strike in the eighth minute, Norrie scored late in the first half after an Alberta player cleared the ball from the goal line with her hand. The Dinos got an automatic penalty shot which Norrie converted, while the Panda player was ejected. Unfortunately, the Dinos couldn't score in the second half to win the game.
Their fortunes were better the next day when they beat the U of S 2-1. Norrie slotted yet another goal, this time on a header in the box. Rookie Jessica Horning completed the scoring in the second half with a low strike past the outstretched Saskatchewan keeper.
"I got my second real goal," said Norrie after the game. "It was awesome, they left me wide open."
Norrie had some bold predictions for the Pandas but these only came partially true. While she was confident the Dinos would get a win on Wednesday, she qualified it by saying the Dinos must score twice.
"Any game when we get two goals we'll win," she said. "But it's not always that easy."
The Dinos have been hit hard by injuries this week with the loss of forward Megan Dourado for the duration of the season. Forward Katie Lee was also unable to play the entire game on Wednesday. She only managed to play a half at the left back position because of a quadricep problem.
"I think that we're going to have to really pull from the bench," said Norrie whose Dinos are in a middle of a 19-day stretch where they play nine times. "With the amount of games we play, your body just can't hold it. Not having Megan, there's a lot of us with dead legs."
Leanne Pelosi rejoined the Dinos for Wednesday's game against the Pandas after missing the last three Dinos matches because of her commitment to the Welsh national Team. Pelosi was called up for Wales' game against Austria last weekend. Wales lost 2-0.
"I didn't even get to play," she said. "But it was a lot of fun. There was an anthrax scare on my plane."
Injured forward Megan Dourado touched the ball twice on the sidelines, much to her delight.
"Matt Houston is the heart of the Dinos," said Dinos midfielder Matt Houston in regards to last weekend's action.
The Dinos next games are Sat., Oct. 20 against Trinity Western and Sun., Oct. 21 against Lethbridge. The Spartans are ranked fifth in the country while the Dinos are eighth.