Ask the Dinos women's soccer team why it took almost two games to adjust to the 4-3-3 allignment. Ask Mother Russia why corruption is still rampant after the switch away from communism in favour of the free market. In both cases, the answers are hard to come by, and men in track suits hover inconspicuously, some with cleats and some with pistols under their belts.
It takes hard men like Vladimir Putin to make sense of it all, and it takes hard men like Head Coach Robin "Slot Machine" Slot to make the tough decisions. Slot moved rookie defender Stephanie Hoogveld to striker, and so far, he is reaping the benefits as Hoogveld has two goals on the season, the latest coming in Calgary's 2-0 victory against the University of Alberta on Sunday, Sept. 15.
"In this game, it all came together--we were moving into the right places," enthused Slot whose team tied the Saskatchewan Huskies 0-0 in their home opener just a day before. "We can't get too frustrated, we dominated both games."
Hoogveld terrorized Alberta keeper Laurie Reide all game long and finally scored 35 minutes into the second half when Reide misplayed a long shot by Sue Hunter.
"I don't score that many, I usually play defence," said Hoogveld. "Sue blasted it up, the goalie fumbled it and I just put it away."
Minutes later, the Dinos scored again when Hoogveld flicked the ball to Jessica Horning who volleyed it into the net.
"I timed it perfectly and I'm glad I hit it right," said a grinning Horning. "I saw the goalie out of position and I shot toward the open net."
Horning is tied for the team lead with two goals along with Hoogveld and defender Burdine Chmilar.
"Jessica has a knack for getting in the right position," said Slot. "She's got a talent and she has the skills to make other teams pay for their mistakes."
A day before, the Dinos had countless opportunities to beat Saskatchewan, but striker Megan Dourado was stopped on a point blank chance by Becky Baker, who also stoned midfielder Hema Chegkalath just five minutes later. Calgary did sneak one past Baker, but the goal was called back because of a poor offside call.
First Team All-Canadian keeper Taryn Swiatek may still be on the sidelines, but her backup, Charlotte Sullivan, has three shutouts in four games filling in. Sullivan is up to sixth in my World Goalie Rankings, Swiatek slips to fourth and Oliver "the Albino Gorilla" Khan remains first.
The Matt Houston fan club is back in full swing. Several former lady Dinos turned out to see the opening weekend and even though the popular Dinos midfielder was sidelined with injury, one alumnus remarked that it was alright, because she could get a better look at Houston and his behind.
The Dinos face Trinity Western, Victoria and the University of British Columbia on their annual British Columbia excursion Sept. 19-22.