MacEwan Athletics and TRU Athletics
KAMLOOPS, B.C. – The MacEwan Griffins eliminated the Thompson Rivers WolfPack from playoff contention and built momentum for their own yet-to-be-written post-season journey with a 2-0 win in Canada West women's soccer action on Sunday.
Defender Jamie Erickson scored the winning goal on a seventh-minute free kick from near centre-field that deflected off a defender and in. Striker Meghan Oram added some insurance in the 55th by running onto a ball and chipping it under the bar.
It was an important victory for the Griffins, who had suffered a dip in their momentum in a 1-0 loss to non-playoff team UBC-Okanagan on Saturday. But now they can roll into the playoffs coming off a win and good feelings.
"Obviously there wasn't anything to play for in the table position-wise, but you always want to be playing some quality football going into playoffs and we wanted to get a 90-minute performance in the books here after dropping some points yesterday," said head coach Dean Cordeiro. "I think we definitely accomplished that.
"I'm very happy with the efforts in a game where 17 players got into the match. We controlled it from the start. I'm very happy with the finish and the quick start, scoring early in the match, as well."
After finishing fourth in the Pacific Division with an 8-5-1 record, the Griffins will host fifth Prairie seed Mount Royal University (4-6-4) on Friday at Foote Field in Edmonton (time TBA). The winner will meet top Prairie seed Alberta (10-2-2) on Sunday (Foote Field) for the right to play in the Canada West Final Four.
MacEwan beat both of those teams by 1-0 scores in matches earlier this season.
The Griffins also beat MRU by that same score in the opening round of the Canada West playoffs a year ago, so there is plenty of positive history going into the contest.
"We're going to break down the film," said Cordeiro. "Obviously, Mount Royal is a much-improved side over the years here. They played us very tough early on and last year as well. We played them in the playoffs.
"They're a good side and we've got a bit of a rivalry going on, so we're going to have to be at our best. (They're) definitely an opponent that we're pretty comfortable with in terms of knowing their personnel and their playing style. It will be a great match."
Either way, the past history won't matter when the action on the pitch begins. It's all about the fundamentals and the finish.
"Our focus will be that the regular season is over," said Cordeiro. "Doesn't matter what your record was … now everyone is 0-0-0. You win and you progress. If you don't, your season is done. There is much more at stake.
"This group came one game away from going to nationals last year. We have nine of those starters back. I think those experiences – it's a wealth of knowledge that we hope to tap into down the stretch."
FREE KICKS … On Sunday, MacEwan outshot TRU 22-6 (9-1 in shots on goal) … Emily Burns made one save for her seventh shutout of the season (fourth in Canada West) … Meagan Lemoine led MacEwan in scoring with three goals and seven points in 13 games (tied for fifth-best in MacEwan's Canada West history) … Suekiana Choucair led the team in both shots (49) and shots on goal (30) – both second-best behind her own school records.