Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON – With the lion's share of dangerous chances, a crossbar, a post and a goal called back on an offside, it would have been easy for the Griffins women's soccer team to wonder what might have been on Saturday.
Fortunately, all they needed was a first-half strike by Hannah Supina to score a 1-0 win over the cross-town rival Alberta Pandas in Canada West women's soccer action on Saturday.
"That's football," said MacEwan head coach Dean Cordeiro. "The ball is round, anything can happen.
"Today, we would have liked to have gotten the second. It changed the way we closed today's game a little bit, but the bottom line is we'll take the clean sheet and know that more times than not, we're going to put a couple of goals in the back of the net."
Supina dashed down the right side in the 15th minute and buried a far-side blast for the only goal of the contest. The former U SPORTS All Rookie team member spent the rest of her 90-minute shift dominating from the fullback position as the Griffins consistently repelled the Pandas.
"Different class," said Cordeiro of Supina. "Obviously, Hannah was dealing with a bit of an injury so she wasn't in the lineup at the start of the season. But now her being inserted has changed things for us today.
"She was our player of the game not just because she scored. She was all over the pitch. What she did at fullback today was second to none. She covered every blade of the turf."
Both Georgia Tansley and Wanda Czebreszuk – the Alberta Team MVP – were difference-makers for the Pandas, regularly sending in dangerous crosses and forcing MacEwan to concede seven corner-kicks.
Griffins captain Samantha Gouveia takes to the air to track a ball down on Saturday (Robert Antoniuk photo).
But most of the critical chances in the game were from the Griffins, none more serious than Salma Kamel's point-blank 48th-minute blast from the middle of the box that beat Alberta goalkeeper Ashley Turner, but not Cara Lang defending on the line.
Maya Morrell hit a post in the 63rd minute and the second goal never did come for the Griffins.
"There were a few more goals to be had to today," said Cordeiro. "They didn't come, but right now I'm focused on getting Ws and it's another big three points in our division."
With the win, the Griffins improve to 4-1-0 on the season, further solidifying their hold on second place in the Central Division after dropping the Pandas to 2-3-0.
Bianca Castillo made five saves for the Griffins in earning her third shutout of the season, while Turner made five stops for the Pandas. MacEwan outshot Alberta 18-10 in the contest (7-5 on goal).
The teams will meet for the third time this season in a rematch on Sunday (12 p.m., Clareview Field, Canada West TV presented by Co-op).