Unfortunately, this was one of the few times the Dinos had their head in the game.
Sean Oakes/the Gauntlet

Dinos soccer team learns to deal with growing pains

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They are young, they are competitive, they are naive.

That's the message University of Calgary men's soccer coach Andy Gibbs sent after his team failed to clinch their first win of the season last weekend.

"We're getting killed on mistakes and we are not creating enough opportunities," he said.

Gibbs believed a win was within their grasp in the 2-1 loss to the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, but ultimately, inexperience cost them as star midfielder Josh Northey capitalized on the Dinos' shortcomings.

"We made two stupid mistakes on their best player," said Gibbs.

The Dinos found the net first with a goal from Sean Makins in the 53rd minute, but just a half minute later, the Huskies offence made a mad dash to the Dinos' net, giving Northey his first goal of the game.

Midway through the second half, Northey scored the game-winning goal.

The eager Dinos did not sit back and give the Huskies an easy road win, though. Their competitive tendencies produced seven shots on net in the second half-- a statistic that pleases Gibbs.

"At least we're creating chances, now we just have to put them in the net," he said.

The Dinos are winless in the first four games of the season, their closest game was against the University of Alberta Golden Bears where they ended up in a 2-2 deadlock at the West Varsity soccer pitch.

Like the game against the Huskies a day earlier, the Dinos made a strong statement by scoring first from a goal by Fernando Di Capua.

The offence kept coming as Jeremy Jenkins gave the confident Dinos a 2-0 lead.

Soon after the second goal was scored, the offence came to a halt and the Bears' game plan became too much for the youthful Dinos squad to handle.

"They changed their style to long and direct," said Gibbs. "Between the forwards not holding the ball up and the defense not clearing the zone, we didn't come up with enough ball to try and change directions."

The Dinos will try to find the elusive win when they travel to B.C. to take on the University of Victoria Vikes and University of British Columbia Thunderbirds this weekend.

"UBC are very big and the most talented team this year," said Gibbs. "[Victoria] is the most achieving team this year- we're going to their location. I do not know what to expect, as long as we're competitive, I'm not unhappy."