By Larry Read
Sports Information Officer: TRU
KAMLOOPS, BC—After spending most of the match with the lead, the host Thompson Rivers University WolfPack gave up two late goals and wound up losing their Canada West season opener. The WolfPack fell 2-1 to the visiting MacEwan University Griffins Saturday (Sept 8) at Hillside Stadium.
The Griffins outshot the WolfPack 27-11 in the contest.
MacEwan got goals from Meghan Oram and Sara Riddle. Kelsey Thorkelsson scored in the first half for Thompson Rivers, who got a brilliant goaltending performance from sophomore Danielle Robertson (2nd year, Courtenay, BC).
The Griffins peppered Danielle Robertson with a number of shots but it was the WolfPack who opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Team co-captain Marisa Mendonca (Penticton, BC) took a corner kick on the right side of the park. The ball went into traffic in front and was headed in by Kelsey Thorkelsson's first Canada West goal as she beat MacEwan keeper Emily Burns.
TRU led 1-0 at the half but were outshot 13-4.
MacEwan opened the second half with vigor. Meghan Oram (4th year, forward, Calgary, AB) was inserted into the lineup and tested Robertson directly in front in the 46 th minute. Four minutes after that, Oram got a breakaway from 30 yards out but Robertson was there to gobble it up.
The second half was more wide open. In the 58 th and 60 th minutes, MacEwan hit the cross bar twice and would have tied it up if not for the acrobatics of Robertson and a crucial defensive maneuver by Cassie Morris (3rd year, defender, Kamloops, BC).
In the 64th minute, Thompson Rivers rookie Chantal Gammie (1st year, forward, Smithers, BC) used her speed and strength to muscle her way down the right side and got a shot away, which hit the post.
But MacEwan came back and scored twice on goals from Oram and Sara Riddle. Riddles goal was a one timer which went high into the net in the 88 th minute.
- TRU-14:00 Kelsey Thorkelsson (3rd year, defender, Winnipeg, MB) headed ball in off a corner kick taken by Marisa Mendonca (4th year, midfield, Penticton, BC) TRU 1 MacEwan 0
- MacEwan 85:43 Meaghan Oram got pass from Sarah Riddle (4th year, defender, Edmonton, AB) on the right side and one timed it for her first goal of the year. TRU 1 MacEwan 1
- MacEwan-88:17 Sarah Riddle with a cracker in front of the net. Meaghan Lemoine (3rd year forward, Edmonton, AB) garnering the assist. MacEwan 2 TRU 1
Shots: TRU: 4-7:11 MacEwan 13-14:27 Corners: TRU: 1-1:2 MacEwan: 5-3:8
Saves: TRU: 2-6:8 MacEwan 1-1:2 Shots on goal: TRU: 2-1:3 MacEwan: 2-8:10
Keepers: TRU: Dannielle Robertson (0-1) MacEwan Emily Burns (4th year, Sherwood Park, AB) (1-0)
TRU: 0-1 MacEwan: 1-0
TRU head coach Kelly Shantz:
On what they learned about themselves in this game: " We will see what they (the players) learned about themselves. That is the most important thing coming out of this. We cobbled together a lead that we didn't deserve. In the end, justice was served. But also this team has the chance to learn that you can take a lead and not let it slip away. "
On positives (starting four rookies)" "We had four rookies on the field and four second year players. We are super young again. I get impatient with that. I guess it's not impatience with youth. I have always told the players and I got this from Bobby Lendarduzzi talking about Alfonso Davis: If you are good enough you are old enough. If you are first year or fourth year you need to play to your potential and with composure. We didn't have that as a team. We had veterans who were jittery today. I hope it is out of their system and we can turn around and play the way we did in preseason. Our first 30 minutes today was horrific. We were knocking passes right to MacEwan and not making passes like we have the last month. I am going to chalk this up to jitters and the first game at home."
COACHES VIDEO COMMENTS: click here
TRU defender Cassie Morris (3rd year Kamloops, BC):
On teams performance: " I am proud with the way we came out in the first half. We came out strong. We ran out of gas in the second half. Danielle Robertson played amazing in the net. She saved our butt."
Agrees that the players at the back end and Robertson were tired at the end: " We had a couple of subs in after Kelsey Thorkelsson injured herself. We had a couple of players come in and were not in positions that they were used to. That took us out of our flow a bit. We were fatigued all over the field. Everyone was playing well all over the field. It was a huge factor that we couldn't keep up with the other team in the last little bit."
MORRIS' VIDEO COMMENTS: click here
MacEwan head coach Dean Cordiero (6th season) :
On the win: " I am elated. I thought we deserved better as the game went on. But credit to Kelly (Shantz)and TRU. They are very much improved and made us work today. They scored a quality goal early on. They made us work the rest of the way. We told our group to be persistant and play our game. We thought we deserved better at half time but again, it's a 90 minute game for a reason. We tried a couple of different combinations to find the right solution. I am glad we were able to score a couple of late goals. I am so proud of Sara Riddle. What a match winner. If you are going to win a game, you want it to be a quality game. She had a goal and an assist and had a hell of a game."
On bringing Oram into the match to start the second half: "Meghan had two great opportunities in the first seven minutes of that half. We told her when it does not come early you question yourself. You have to believe in your ability and execute. We have a lot of talent on this team. One of our goals is to be more offensive. It didn't look like it was going to happen today. You have to believe it is going to come. I am proud of Oram too for getting things going."
COACHES VIDEO COMMENTS: click here
The WolfPack continue their home stand when they entertain the University of Northern British Columbia Timberwolves tomorrow. Kickoff is 1 pm. "It is going to be a really hard game," Morris explains. "They are a really good team and made playoffs last year and beat us by one game. I am super excited to come back and hopefully get a win."
The Griffins will head to Kelowna, BC for a match against the University of British Columbia Okanagan Heat.
All of the WolfPack matches—home and away—will be webcast live on a pay per view basis on www.Canadawest.TV.
The WolfPack utilized a number of rookies. Four of them started: Abbie Simms (Campbell River, BC), Julia Burkart (Nelson,, BC) Ainsley Grether and Kathrine Walkley (Kamloops, BC). One other rookie: Shianne Michalchuk (Nelson, BC) also saw action in the second half.
TRU co-captain Natalie Verdiel (4th year, defender, Powell River, BC) missed her first ever Canada West match because of injury. She had started every match she had dressed in the previous three years. She is expected back Sunday.
Morris was named the first TRU Bookstore/McDonalds "Leader of the Pack" player of the match.