Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – Gone in 42 seconds.
That's the amount of time it took for the MacEwan Griffins to score the game-winning goal in a 3-0 victory over the visiting Regina Cougars on a cold and rainy afternoon at Clarke Stadium.
After a defender bobbled her touch in the box in the first minute of the Canada West contest, Raeghan McCarthy blasted the gift past goalkeeper Ashton Lowry.
"We talked about getting off to a strong start," said Griffins head coach Dean Cordeiro. "We knew they were coming off a 3-1 loss at UNBC, so we thought we could catch them off guard a little bit if we had a quick start. But we also scored seven minutes into the game on Friday (against Saskatchewan).
"So, getting the lead was good, but the difference today that I loved is we continued to want more. We got that second goal early in the second half that I think really paved the way to that outcome today."
Meagan Lemoine netted the insurance marker for MacEwan in the 51st minute when she played the ball into a pair of defenders' feet in the box, charged through them onto the touch and ripped it past Lowry.
The Griffins put it away in extra time when Meghan Oram cut back into the middle to dust a defender and laid in an offering that Brittany Costa chipped off the right post and in.
It's the first time the Griffins have scored more than one goal in a game this season as they improve to 2-1-1 in the standings.
"For me, the biggest way is playing the right way," said Cordeiro. "I felt today we linked the ball, we kept possession, we were able to dictate the tempo. When we do that, I like our chances no matter who we play."
Regina had some of the possession, too, as they put a solid defensive shape in place in an attempt to slow down the Griffins. While that forced MacEwan to dig deep to link up their offensive attacks, the Cougars had trouble creating much of their own.
Perhaps their most dangerous chance of the contest came in the 78th minute when Griffins goalkeeper Emily Burns slid into the middle of the box to scoop up a loose ball a second before Sydney Langen got her boot on it.
"I think we actually had a few dangerous chances, the difference was we didn't want to take them," said Regina head coach Bob Maltman, whose team falls to 1-3-0 on the campaign. "Full credit to MacEwan. They've got some great players, they're very well coached.
"Two of those goals (against) were very poor in our unwillingness to communicate or just get the ball out of play, especially on the first and second goal," he continued. "Third goal is a great example of their player driving to the net and wanting to take the risk to shoot and our players, unfortunately today, didn't want to do that on the three or four chances we generated.
"Against a very strong team like MacEwan, those are the moments. If you don't want to do it, then it makes it difficult."
Burns wasn't truly threatened on any of Regina's four shots as she recorded her first shutout of the 2018 season.
MacEwan outshot Regina 16-5 in the contest (9-4 in shots on goal) and dominated the corner kicks (4-0), while the Cougars got into foul trouble (11 to just three for the Griffins).
"For us, we've got to keep doing what we need to do to be successful," said Cordeiro. "If we do that, we'll have more two or three goal performances ahead, but for me right now, it's just one game at a time, getting stronger every day at training and every game we play."
Next up for the Griffins is a trip to Trinity Western and UFV on Sept. 21-22, while Regina heads home to host Mount Royal and Alberta on the same days.
"We have to go home and recharge for next weekend," said Maltman. "We're looking forward to next weekend against Mount Royal and the Pandas, and they're going to again be very strong battles like every Canada West game is."