CALGARY- The Mount Royal Cougars hosted the University of Victoria Vikes on the annual Seniors Day for fifth-year students on Saturday afternoon at Cougar Stadium Field, drawing a hard-fought 0-0 game.
The Oct. 14 match-day was special enough as is but also had huge playoff implications for the Cougars who needed a win to secure their spot in the Canada West quarter-finals. Victoria was sitting in second place coming into the match and already had a playoff berth to their name.
In the first 45, it was the visiting Vikes who kept the pressure on the home Cougars playing possession and sending balls in from the wide, but a resilient Cougar defence held their own.
“I thought we came out a little bit flat. At halftime we tried to rev it up a little bit but then we got caught up in ‘hit and hope mode’, a little bit panicky,” said Vikes head coach Tracy David. “We just weren’t clicking on all four cylinders.”
Victoria had a chance that could’ve changed the outcome of the game late in the half.
Victoria midfielder Stephanie Badilla Gutierrez found herself open in the area after a three-person attack line formed inside the Cougars box and the ball landing on her feet.
With only the goalkeeper to beat, Gutierrez sent her shot just high of the net.
Both teams took a 0-0 game into the break.
The Vikes had an early quality chance in the second half, breaking through the Cougars defence off a corner kick.
A scramble in the box led to a Vikes strike that was blocked by a handful of Cougar defenders, sacrificing their bodies to keep the ball out of the net.
In the 69th, the Vikes were robbed of a sure goal by Cougar netminder Cailyn Leeson.
A corner kick placed on the top of the box was missed by everyone and as a result, the ball took a high bounce. A low shot was sent in but Leeson kicked her leg out right off of her goal line, sending the ball out of bounds.
The contest ended in 0-0 with Leeson adding her fifth clean sheet of the season while Vikes goalie Puck Louwes got her seventh on the year.
MRU did well by absorbing the Victoria press all game long and secured themselves a point against the Pacific Division powerhouse.
MRU may be on a four-game winless run but improve to 4-5-2 on the season with playoff hopes still within arms reach while Victoria who have already secured their spot, bump their record up to 7-1-3 and are holding on to second place in the Pacific.
“The only thing that matters is the score at the end of the game and we did get a point out of the match,” said David. “We still have three games left to play and lots of things can happen so we will see how it goes.”