The University of Calgary Dinos field hockey squad came out strong in Edmonton, putting up two ties against the University of Alberta Pandas Sep. 29 and 30.
A disappointing 0-4 season start by losing two games each to perennial Canada West powerhouses the University of Victoria and University of British Columbia, left the young team determined to improve their record.
Both U of A and Calgary needed to see wins this weekend to keep in the race for a playoff berth, as the top-three teams from CW will move forward to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport finals in Nov.
On Saturday, the Pandas got off to the better start on their home surface, putting pressure on the Calgary defence. The Dinos held their opposition until one minute before the end of the first half when Kelly Suto was able to convert for the Pandas. The Calgary squad fought back in the second half to win a short corner. Tanis Bartolome was able to score off the opportunity, tying the game with a finishing score of 1-1 in the 47th minute.
The remainder of the game included one strong Alberta shot that was saved by Dino goalie Brianna Strong with another just missing the goal and rolling wide. The field hockeysaurs forced two more short corner opportunities but were unable to put the ball in the net a second time.
On Sunday, both teams came out hungry for the win, resulting in a very similarly paced game to the previous day.
Lots of action ensued in the midfield with Calgary's Michelle Roydhouse proving unstoppable as she dribbled her way through the competition. A few offensive efforts were tendered at either end of the field, though none resulted in any goals. The game ended in a 0-0 tie.
The Calgary team had a few things to adapt to, including a turf surface that played much slower than their home field.
Despite many challenges, the team was positive about the weekend.
"They felt good," said coach Jenn Swagar. "I think they feel they could have won both games."