Katie Blundell (left) makes a go at net while Saaraa Premji (middle) looks on.
the Gauntlet

Soccersaurs call it an all-nil weekend

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It was a no-score, no-win weekend for the University of Calgary lady soccersaurs Sep. 29 and 30.

After two matches against the Lethbridge Pronghorns away and at home, neither team was able to assert enough of an offensive grip to make a goal, leaving the Dinos slightly ahead of the 'Horns by one point in Canada West standings.

Saturday's game saw a very evenly matched face-off as all the action was pushed to the middle of the pitch for most of the first half. The Dinos made two attempts near the end of the first 45 when Katie Blundell headed the ball wide of the goal. Morena Ianniello made another go, but was foiled when the shot hit the crossbar.

After halftime, both teams made concerted efforts to break the stalemate, to no avail. Pronghorn Sheena Stasiuk foiled the Dinos' only noticeable effort as she slid in front of the ball. Both teams' goaltenders were on fire, as Lethbridge's Megan Lumley made nine saves and Dinos' Alana Knowles finished the game at five.

The weekend's second draw at the West Varsity Soccer Pitch on Sunday started with both teams trying to take more offensive initiative. Ianniello continued her strong playing streak, going at Lethbridge's net after a free kick only to have the ball stopped by Lumley. Dino Lindsay Burrowes also made an excellent attempt to aid Ianniello by bringing the ball back into Lethbridge's side, where Ianniello's kick made a close miss at the goal.

The 'Horns also made several attempts over the first half, as Jaclyn Groten kicked the ball towards Calgary's net, almost resulting in a goal after some help from Samantha McMillian.

After an all-nil first half, Calgary took some control in the second with Blundell and Ianniello leading the charge. All attempts at the next were smoothly stopped by Lumley, who made an impressive 13 saves over the course of the game and was Lethbridge's obvious saving grace.

Though Calgary asserted most of the offensive initiative, the Pronghorns made a few shots. One of the most notable was Kelli Sauers' effort, which would have made it squarely in the goal if not for Knowles' stop. They made another near-successful shot as a free kick went over the net.

The game came to a close at 0-0.

After all the fruitless chances on net, Ianniello was understandably dejected.

"[It's] frustrating because we should have won," said Ianniello. "We had a lot of the possession and a lot of the opportunities for both games, so I feel that we should put some in. It was a good game though. Everyone did really well."

Many of her teammates echoed the sentiment, still hopeful for future games.

"It's too bad we didn't come out with six points, because we should have," said Saaraa Premji. "We worked hard and we just didn't get the result that we wanted. We definitely dominated the second half and were definitely the dominating team, even in Lethbridge too, but we just couldn't put them in. Next weekend we'll be coming out with six points."