Spartans hunt Bisons in quarter-finals
A pair of beautiful goals sends Spartans to semi-finals.
The women’s soccer team took to the field on Friday night at Rogers Field hoping to advance to the Canada West Final Four with a win over the University of Manitoba Bisons. The Spartans, ranked number two in the entire country, were to face an unranked Bisons team. They had no trouble with them when they faced them back on September 22nd, shutting them out 4-0. Knowing that it was an elimination game, the Spartans showed dominance on the field from start to finish.
The Women in yellow and blue showed why they are first place in Canada West as they scored the first goal just three minutes in. It was Jenna Di Nunzio on the far left side of the box finishing a great feed from Krista Gommeringer and Alicia Tessan to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. Initially the goal was called offside, but this was overruled by the head referee. The Spartans continued with an outstanding defensive game from the back end of Colleen Webber, Jilian Dietrich, and Jennifer Castillo. The Bisons also had a strong defensive game as they did not allow many chances for the Spartans.
The Spartans finally found a way to get through the clogging Bison defense with another beauty by Di Nunzio for her second of the game in the 43rd minute. The goal was a great team effort, as the play was started by Natalie Boyd. She slipped a great pass to a speedy Gommeringer, who then crossed another beautiful pass to Di Nunzio for the goal. It was now 2-0 for the Spartans as the game headed for the second half.
The Spartans did what they needed to do in the second half: play a strong defensive game. There was no goal for either side in the second half. It was a game of possession and strong defensive play. The Spartans only allowed one shot on target, while they made eight shots on The Bisons. They were also the only team to have a corner kick as they took seven corners, while the Bisons had taken none. The Spartans finished the game with their eleventh shutout of the season.
“Any time you play a game where your season is on the line, it’s pleasing to win,” remarked Spartans coach Graham Roxburgh. “In some ways it probably kind of hurt us that we scored early because I think it lulled us a bit to sleep. But credit to Manitoba. They defended well and never gave up. While they didn’t get any clear-cut changes, we didn’t really generate anything ourselves. I thought Krista Gommeringer’s intelligence on the second goal and Jenna’s finish was excellent. Nat Boyd was probably the thing that kept us ticking in the midfield.”
With the win the Spartans will advance to host the CW Final Hour where they hope to continue dominating their opponents.
The Spartans will go head-to-head in a semi-final match against either the University of Regina Cougars or the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. They’ll have the home field advantage here at Rogers Field on November 2nd at 4:30pm, so come and support your Spartans women’s soccer team as they fight to add another banner to their impressive history.