Women’s soccer hosts Winnipeg, Manitoba

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October 2, 2013, Langley, British Columbia – Following a weekend in which the Trinity Western women’s soccer team earned a 4-0 win over UNBC, the Spartans will look to build upon their momentum as they host Winnipeg Friday and Manitoba Saturday at Rogers Field.

Both games start at 5 p.m. and will be streamed live at www.twu.canadawest.tv 

Despite what has seemed like an uncharacteristically slow start for the defending national champions, the Spartans in fact enter the weekend riding a four-game undefeated streak. The Spartans are at home for the first time since a 2-1 win over Fraser Valley Sept. 14 and will hope to continue their recent success against their Manitoban foes.

Trinity Western has a combined record of 11-2 all-time against Winnipeg, who entered Canada West league play in 2012, and Manitoba.

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS (2-1-3)

  • CIS ranking: No. 10
  • Canada West Standings: 8th
  • Last weekend: UNBC 4-0, W
  • CW Form: L-W-T-T-W
  • 2012 Canada West record: 11-1-0, 1st
  • 2012 Canada West tournament: 3-0, 1st
  • 2012 CIS tournament: 3-0, 1st

The Trinity Western women’s soccer team entered the season as the defending CIS and Canada West champions and ranked No.1 in in the country. Since then, it’s been something of a rocky road for the traditional powerhouse from Langley.

While wins over Fraser Valley and UNBC have buoyed the Spartans record over their first six contests, ties with UBC, Saskatchewan and Regina and a loss to Victoria has TWU antsy to get the season back on the winning track.

With home dates this weekend after two straight weeks on the road, the Spartans are gunning for nothing short of six points against Winnipeg and Manitoba. And with their Manitoba opponents posting a combined record of 2-9-3, the Spartans are certainly in position to start making up ground in the Canada West standings.

Through six games, the Spartans are averaging 1.33 goals per game, which has them tied for seventh in the conference. Defensively, TWU has allowed four goals in six games for a goals against average of just 0.67 (3rd in Canada West). The Spartans also have garnered three shutouts, with fifth-year goalie Rachel Bedek (London, Ont.), who has started all six regular season games, forced to make just 10 saves so far this year.

With a pair of goals against UNBC last weekend, second-year striker Krista Gommeringer (Calgary) leads TWU in scoring three goals on the year. Fifth-year midfielder Natalie Boyd (Surrey, B.C.) leads the team in points with two goals and two assists. Boyd is also one of three Spartans to play all 540 minutes this season. The other two are defenders Colleen Webber (Calgary) and Stephanie Chin (Calgary).

WINNIPEG WESMEN (1-6-0)

  • CIS ranking: NR
  • Canada West Standings: 11th
  • Last weekend: MRU 4-0, L; Alberta 8-1, L
  • CW Form: W-L-L-L-L
  • 2012 Canada West record: 1-10-1, 12th
  • 2012 Canada West tournament: N/A
  • 2012 CIS tournament: N/A

After a predictably tough first season playing at the CIS level in which Winnipeg won just one game in 12 outings, the Wesmen entered this season looking to take steps forward. Through seven games, it has been something of a work in progress.

So far, the Wesmen have one win, a 2-1 victory over winless Lethbridge, to show for their seven games and have been outscored 33-4 along the way. A home weekend in which they lost 8-1 to Alberta and 4-0 to Mount Royal only piled on Winnipeg’s already evident early season struggles.

However, with a chance to play UBC and TWU this weekend on the road, Winnipeg will have an opportunity to make a statement. However, depending on the result, the statement could either be friendly or foul.

While Winnipeg has allowed a league-high 33 goals, Wesmen goalies Taylor Thorkelsson, who has played 450 minutes thus far, and Margo Henry, who has seen 180 minutes of action, have combined for an average of 11.71 saves per game (2nd in CW).

Third-year striker Chelsea Kwasnicki leads the team in scoring with two goals, including Winnipeg’s lone tally against Alberta last weekend, while first-year midfielder Danielle Comeau and second-year defender Laura Carroll each have one goal on the year.

The Wesmen have had no less than 22 players see the field this year with only Carroll, with 630 minutes, having started and finished all seven games.

Having played No. 3 Alberta last Sunday, the Wesmen will be forced to play three ranked opponents in a row, with No. 10 TWU Friday and No. 6 UBC Saturday. This will be Winnipeg’s first trip to TWU after joining the CIS in women’s soccer for the 2012 season. The Spartans beat the Wesmen 6-0 in Winnipeg last year in the teams’ first ever matchup.

MANITOBA BISONS (1-3-3)

  • CIS ranking: NR
  • Canada West Standings: 10th
  • Last weekend: Alberta 0-0, T; MRU 3-3, T
  • CW Form: L-T-W-T-T
  • 2012 Canada West record: 4-7-1, 8th
  • 2012 Canada West tournament: 0-1, 5th (tied)
  • 2012 CIS tournament: N/A

While the Bisons enter this weekend with just one win to their credit through seven games, Manitoba has plenty to be optimistic about heading into their West Coast weekend series with UBC and TWU.

After opening the season with three straight losses, Manitoba has bounced back and is in the midst of a four-game undefeated run. Most notably during their last four games was a 0-0 with No. 3 Alberta. Despite being outshot 25-6 and Manitoba goalie Chloe Werle needing to make seven saves, the Bisons managed to sneak away with a point against the top team in Canada West.

Through seven games, Winnipeg has averaged exactly one goal per game (10th in Canada West) and 1.43 goals against per game (tied for 6th in CW). Between first-year Brittany MacSween, second-year Arran Martina and the fourth-year Werle, the Bisons have averaged 4.71 saves per game, which is good for a share of fifth in the conference.

Manitoba has also earned three shutouts, which is tied, alongside TWU, for third in Canada West. Werle has two of those clean sheets while MacSween, in the only game she’s played, has one.

Individually, second-year forward Daniella Scerbo leads the team in scoring with two goals and two assists. Third-year defender Elyce Molyneaux and third-year midfielder/forward Robyn Kastner each have one goal and one assist.

The Bisons have spread the minutes around this season, with third-year forward Selina Speranza being the only player to have started all seven games this season. Molyneaux leads the team in minutes played with 554, for an average of just over 79 minutes per outing.

Including the regular season and playoffs, the Bisons are 2-10 all-time against the Spartans. The last time Manitoba beat TWU was Sept. 15, 2007, when the Bisons earned a 2-0 win in Langley.

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