For most Calgarians, a trip to the west coast of Canada is a rewarding experience. For the University of Calgary women's soccer team, it was disastrous. The lady Dinos lost 2-0 to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and followed up with a 3-1 loss to the University of Victoria Vikes. The Dinos lacked offensive punch and defensive solidity in the losses.
The first game of the weekend started slowly as neither team could generate many substantial chances. The Dinos played well against fifth-ranked UBC in the first, going into the second half with a goose egg on both sides of the scoreboard. But Calgary went down hard in the second half, as they allowed the Thunderbirds to dictate the play. They outshot the Dinos 20-2.
"It was not only the defence failing, it is the offence [as well]," said Dinos midfielder Katrina Strauss. "The defence needs to prevent goals and support the offence to get more scoring."
The hard work and aggressive play paid off for UBC as they scored two quick goals in the final few minutes. Caitlin Davie put the ball past Dinos netminder Kristen Barton in the 79th minute and with the final whistle moving up to the referee's lips, Carmen Lindsey took a cross from Davie and worked the ball past Barton into the net.
The Dinos moved to the island for their second game to battle the Vikes, ranked ninth in the nation.
The Vikes came out of the gates ready to raid and conquer. The game echoed the UBC game as Calgary played well initially, but lost in the final minutes. Despite the even play, Kaitlyn Hunter scored three minutes into the game, one-timing a cross into the Calgary net. Calgary responded only 10 minutes later with a tying goal. Saaraa Premji eluded her mark, found open space in front of the net and booted a Lindsay Burrowes cross past a helpless Vikes goalkeeper.
The second half was similar to the UBC game as the Vikes put constant pressure on the Dinos, but could not score until late in the game. Alli Bach put the Vikes ahead in the 86th minute, taking a cross from Sarah Cameron and placing the ball behind Barton.
The goal was inevitable after the constant pressure the Vikes were putting on the Dinos defence. With the Dinos down for the count, the Vikes added to Calgary's pain. With one minute left, Vikes striker Leigh Quinlan shot five hole on Barton and scored the game's fourth goal, putting the Dinos on ice.
The Dinos had trouble keeping the ball in the offensive zone during the weekend, managing only one goal and getting horribly outshot.
"[For] the [offence], having enough time to keep the ball in the zone is crucial," said Strauss. "If we can put together a full effort for 90 minutes, we know we can win. We are so close to getting the crucial goals and if we keep the intensity up, we can win."
The Dinos will play prairie games in Alberta this weekend, as they play a home-and-home series against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns.