By Sonny Sachdeva, October 13 2015 –
The Dinos men’s soccer team emerged as the victor in their back-to-back Crowchild Classic matchup with the Mount Royal Cougars. Taking on the Cougars on Oct. 10–11, the Dinos won their first match 3–2 and finished the second instalment with a 1–1 draw.
The weekend results improve the Dinos’ record to 4–2–2, positioning them fourth in the Canada West division. Provincial rival University of Alberta sits atop the standings with a 7–1 record.
While the Dinos have a tough task ahead of them if they hope to move up the standings over the final weeks of their season, one member of the team is already making waves on a division-wide level.
Fourth-year Dinos forward Dominic Russo currently leads the Canada West with seven goals — already tying his goals total from last season with four games remaining — and sits third in the division for points with eight overall.
Russo has been a driving force for the Dinos offense, scoring in six of his club’s eight games thus far. However, his finest moment came against the rival Cougars in the first match of the Crowchild Classic, when Russo led the team to victory with a hat-trick in the final 10 minutes of the game.
“They never give up,” Dinos team manager Eddie Bardana said of his team’s late-game heroics. “They’re always in it. As long as they keep positive and keep fighting, anything’s possible.”
The Dinos will need those heroics to continue if they hope to keep their record, as their next game comes against the top-ranked University of Alberta Golden Bears on Oct. 17.
The Dinos and Golden Bears split their regular season series last year, with each winning one of the two games — though the Golden Bears’ 4–0 victory was a much more dominant affair than Calgary’s 2–1 win.
However, U of A got the best of their rival in the playoffs, ousting the Dinos in a 1–0 shutout victory.
With an opportunity for revenge on the line and Russo firing on all cylinders, the Dinos should have a strong shot at extending their undefeated streak when they take on the Golden Bears. Following that match, they’ll finish their regular season with a game against the MacEwan University Griffins on Oct. 18, and a back-to-back set with the University of Winnipeg Wesmen on Oct. 24–25.