Written by: Dustin Pernitsky
September 6, 2013, Winnipeg, MB – The Saskatchewan Huskies came out on top 3-1 over the University of Manitoba Bisons in the Canada West women’s soccer season opener on a hot muggy Winnipeg evening on Friday.
A full house was on hand to watch the two teams, which had battled to a 0-0 draw in the preseason, at the Turf Fields (West Side) at the University of Manitoba.
Both teams appeared eager to start the 2013 season as the early minutes featured a high pace, and aggressive action on both sides of the field. The home side was the first to capitalize as Bisons defender Gillian Sidon was able to open the scoring in the fifth minute, burying a beautiful cross by forward Daniella Scerbo. Saskatchewan keeper Cara Santaga never had a chance on the goal. Scerbo was a force the entire game.
“She’s hungry to score goals. When she decides that she wants to do it, she does it,” said Bisons women’s soccer head coach Vanessa Martinez Lagunas after the match.
The opening goal seemed to wake up the favored Huskies team, and they controlled possession for much of the rest of the half. They nearly struck in the 41st minute on a shot by striker Ali Goodman. Bisons keeper Chloe Werle was up to the task, making a diving stop to maintain the lead for the home side.
Just as the Bisons though they were going to escape into halftime with the lead, Saskatchewan defender Erica Parenteau was able to score on a long drive that sailed over Werle’s reach. The goal was scored with two minutes of injury time remaining, and the teams would head into the half tied at one.
The Huskies seemed to carry that momentum to the second half. Goodman was once again creating offence for Saskatchewen, and she set up striker Jenelle Zapski with a wide open net in the 54thminute to take the lead for the first time in the match.
Goodman would find the back of the net herself to put the Huskies up 3-1. Werle made another beautiful diving save off the foot of Huskies midfielder Kelly Cerkowniak, but Goodman was waiting there to bury the rebound in the 69th minute. The Bisons had no answer for the tandem of Goodman and Cerkowniak, who were buzzing around in the Bisons zone all night.
“They both are dynamic, very quick players. They both like to dribble, and take people on, and that’s a combination that’s really hard to play 1-on-1. They just add a spark” said Huskies women’s soccer head coach Tom Lapointe.
While Lagunas was disappointed with the result, the Bison rookie head coach is looking towards a bright future.
“In the second half – I still have a very young team. I have about 70% of my players are in there first or second year, so they still need to learn to keep there concentration and be able to play at that level for ninety minutes. But overall I feel very confident that this team has a huge potential.” She said after the match.
The match would end at 3-1, and neither team will have time to dwell on this one. The Bisons will face the University of Regina Cougars at the Turf Fields on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 3 p.m. CT, while the Huskies travel across town to take on the University of Winnipeg Wesmen on the same day at 6 p.m. CT.