David Larkins, Wesmen Athletics
WINNIPEG - One team had the finish, the other team didn't, and the first round of the crosstown clash went to the Manitoba Bisons.
Bruna Mavignier scored two goals and the Bisons women's soccer team got by the Winnipeg Wesmen with a 2-0 Canada West conference decision Thursday night at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex.
Mavignier headed in a cross in the 15th minute to put the Bisons up 1-0, a well-directed shot that just squeezed through the gloves of Wesmen keeper Madison Fordyce.
And while the Bisons goal set the Wesmen back on their heels, they recovered through the final 20 minutes of the first half. Their aggression towards the Bisons half was rewarded just minutes short of halftime when Shae-Lynn Dodds was tackled inside the 18-yard box and garnered U of W a kick from the spot. Bisons keeper Maddison Wilford, however, laid out to her left and stopped the shot from freshman Alycia Mann, who was taking the first penalty kick of her U Sports career.
Manitoba was on the mark again in the 69th minute when Mavignier first-timed a ball from 20 yards out and scored over top of Fordyce.
Manitoba improved to 3-4-2 and snapped a three-match losing streak in the process.
Winnipeg fell to 0-5-4.
"We need to capitalize on opportunities, not just the penalty, but we had opportunities where we had lovely crosses and nobody was in the box," Wesmen head coach Amy Anderson said. "We needed to match their intensity and once we did that I think we had some good movements, but it's not good enough. We have to be better on Saturday and we will be."
The Bisons were able to keep Shae-Lynn Dodds off the sheet, snapping the second-year forward's string of four straight games with a goal. Dodds entered the night as the top scorer in the Canada West conference and her best chance came in the 87th minute when her shot from about eight yards out on the left side rolled inches past the far post.
"She has been playing tremendously," Bisons head coach Vanessa Martinez Lagunas said. "We know that she is very dangerous and definitely we had a plan to keep her under control.
"… I think the team played really well overall in the full match and we finished the chances when we needed to."
The teams will meet Saturday (2 p.m.) at Investors Group Athletic Centre in what will serve as the opening act in the 2018-19 Duckworth Challenge.