Dan Khavkin, Cougar Athletics
CALGARY - A second-half offensive explosion got Mount Royal's their first three points on their home ground as a four-goal second half secured them a 4-1 win against Thompson Rivers WolfPack.
Cougar coach Tino Fusco commented "We're happy to get the three points," after his team's bounce-back performance. We wanted the ball more this game, we got away from that in the first game. We held more possession."
Both teams started the game jabbing at one another before an array of events capped off a scoreless first half which saw the Cougars have a goal taken back due to an offside minutes before injury time.
TRU's best moment of the first half came from a set piece on the edge of the MRU box in which rookie goalkeeper Rose Hemans bailed out her disoriented defence. After the initial ball, a scramble ensued and WolfPack player Marisa Mendonca was stuffed on the near post by Hemans.
Shortly after, the WolfPack back-line were caught too far up the field, leading to an over-the-head lob being distributed by the Cougar midfield.
Three Cougar players marched up the field but slowed their footing inside the WolfPack box. A late ball played by Erin Holt was tapped in by Haley Nicholson but the linesman waved her flag immediately, putting a halt to any celebration.
Much like in their match Saturday afternoon, the Cougars started the second half like a house on fire and eventually broke down a shaky WolfPack defence.
TRU faced misfortune as Camryn Curts rattled the crossbar from distance which ended up turning the tide of the game for MRU.
Nicholson whipped home a free-kick in the back netting at the 68th-minute mark for her first goal of the season after WolfPack keeper Danielle Robertson couldn't tip the curled shot over her net.
The Cougar onslaught began there as three more goals were buried in a span of 10 minutes.
Holt's curler from the edge of the box and rookie Robyn MacDonald's first two-goal U SPORTS game secured the Cougars a 4-1 win after a consolation goal of a spot-kick was put away by WolfPack forward Mendonca in the 80th minute.
"She's been great for us all year and we look for players like that to step up," Said Fusco on the performance of MacDonald.
The WolfPack visit the Vikes in Victoria and then UBC next weekend while MRU are set to travel to Saskatchewan for a weekend set against Regina and the Huskies.