The University of Calgary women's field hockey team scored a combined one goal in their weekend matches against their provincial rivals, the University of Alberta Pandas. It was a weekend characterized by the Dinos' defensive miscues leading to Pandas' scoring opportunities.
In the Sat. game, the first half saw a defensive struggle with few scoring chances. That all changed in the second half when the Pandas found three of their players behind the Dinos' defence. Jennifer Zwicker made no mistake deking out the Dinos goalkeeper Brianna Strong to make the score 1-0. The game was salted away late when Rachel Sanders added another goal for the Pandas making the final score 2-0.
Sunday's game looked to have the makings of a Dinos victory as they went into the half with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by Dinos forward Michelle Roydhouse and some strong goaltending by Strong. The Pandas came out with a ferocious attack in the second half with some swarming ball pursuit. The Pandas capitalized on another Dino defensive fault when the defender failed to clear the ball from the Dinos circle. This resulted in a great scoring opportunity and a goal knotting the score at 1-1. The Dinos seemed to lose the confidence they had gained in the first half.
Coach Jenn Swagar commented on the letdown.
"We need to keep our work rate up until the final horn blows," she said. "We cannot stop playing just because they score, the game is 70 minutes."
From this point on, the Pandas took full control, running the Dinos over, outmatching them in every facet of the game. The Alberta rivals poured on the offensive side of the ball and netted three more tallies before the final horn blew on the Dinos and their woeful, disappointing effort for the weekend.
Swager was disappointed with the team's play.
"I think that they did not play to the level they can," she said. "They were lacking desire and effort. They were extremely inconsistent. That comes from being young and I know this will improve."
The Dinos have had a dismal season so far and are still left looking for that elusive first victory with only two tilts remaining in the 2007 season. While everything is not grim for a young and still improving Dinos team, injuries and inexperience have definitely taken their toll on the team.
"We made big gains this season," said Swager. "We have scored five goals and have tied twice. This is a big step in the right direction for the program. I did not think that we would come in and win games. I think that we have to learn how to win and mentally prepare for what it takes to win. I am very proud of all the girls. We have had a lot of injuries to key players. Kaelyn Barrie is a leader and a scorer, so that hurt us a lot. Jenn Hosfield is a natural scorer and her being out also hurt. But this group of players will get better and they will be a force in the next couple seasons."