By Kristy Koehler, September 13 2018—
The Dinos women’s soccer team opened their season of conference play on a brand-new field over the weekend.
While technically listed as Field 2, the new field has been dubbed ‘Dinosaur Field’. Head coach Troye Flannery had a different name for the team’s old home, the West Varsity Soccer Pitch.
“I named it ‘Jurassic Park’. It was a good home for us, we had a lot of success there — in regular season at least — but it was pretty, for lack of a better term, barren,” Flannery said.
The new field is just behind the Olympic Oval, with a scoreboard and media tower. The pitch is also in close proximity to the amenities at the University of Calgary. Flannery said the old field lacked these aspects, adding that weather conditions often presented a challenge.
“It was up on a hill and the wind would blow. It was never a nice day up there, it seemed,” he said. “We had no dressing rooms. Just being closer to campus is perfect.”
Originally, it was touch-and-go as to whether the Dinos would play on their new field for the home opener. The grounds crew ran into some problems with sodding and a sinkhole. Flannery praised their efforts to get the field ready.
“The grounds crew at U of C has been awesome,” he said. “They’ve worked hard to get this ready. They’ve had some challenges but they’ve been without question top class.”
Despite previously being located at Jurassic Park, Flannery said that spectator attendance was always good.
“The local soccer community is awesome,” he said. “It doesn’t matter with respect to venue — they support the program without question.”
Flannery expected a tight set of games. Their Saturday game saw the team pitted against the University of Alberta while their Sunday game matched them up against the Mount Royal Cougars as part of the Crowchild Classic rivalry. The Dinos were edged by U of A in a 2–1 loss but bested the Cougars 1–0.
Flannery is optimistic about the season – and with good reason.
“We’ve got two of our all-stars that missed last season due to injury back this year, Jordan Smith being one — she was Canada West Player of the Year the year before last. […] Natalie Arnett, anther attacking player, is back. They combined for 17 goals two seasons ago and we lost them very early in last year’s campaign,” he said. “We added a recruiting class that fits right into our core nicely. It’s a team that’s got a good mix of experience and youthful exuberance.”
The Dinos take to the road for the next four games before returning to Dinosaur Field on Sept. 29 and 30 to meet the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the University of Regina Cougars.