For MacEwan Athletics
EDMONTON — It was quite a memorable weekend for Maya Morrell.
It had been a few years since the graduating forward scored a goal with her family in attendance, but she gave her family lots to cheer about.
The graduating forward scored her second-straight brace (two-goal game) in her final regular season match as a Griffin to help MacEwan to a 4-1 victory over the Saskatchewan Huskies, Sunday afternoon at Clarke Stadium.
Second-year forward Alyx Henderson recorded her second-career brace to round out the scoring for MacEwan.
"It's so nice to have my family here. They've been my biggest supporters, and to have them here for Senior's Weekend is special. To have them see me score (goals), made it even better," said Morrell, who hails from Vancouver.
After a dominant 5-0 win over the University of Regina on Saturday, in which they scored in just the second minute, the Griffins had to be more patient against a tough Huskies squad.
They had several Grade A scoring chances in the first half, but it took until the 30th minute to open the scoring as Henderson took a nice feed from Brenna Paquin and made no mistake. Despite controlling the majority of the play, the Griffins held a slim 1-0 lead at the half.
"We had to stay the course," said Griffins head coach Dean Corderio.
"The start of games is always a bit of a chess match, and (Saskatchewan) came up with some things that were tricky, and it was a battle early on.
"That first goal really kick started things, and we woke up. We had a lot of great moments in that first half, but their keeper made some real big saves for them."
In the 55th minute, Morrell scored her seventh goal of the season after taking a perfect pass through the Huskies defenders, sending Morrell racing down the left wing side. She outraced the defender and waited for Huskies goalkeeper Nadia Kalyar to make her first move before burying the shot inside the right post for a 2-0 lead.
"That second goal was huge. For Maya to step up and get that goal for us got us in our rhythm," said Corderio.
The Huskies cut MacEwan's lead to 2-1 in the 61st minute as Taisa Gabruch converted on a corner kick, but the defending national champions showed no panic.
In fact, they stepped on the gas even more.
They responded with two goals in just nine minutes, and their goals were just two minutes apart. Morrell scored her second after Mariah Arnott intercepted a pass at midfield, and then hit Morrell in transition as the senior buried her eighth goal of the season.
Alyx Henderson scored twice for the Griffins on Sunday to finish the season with seven goals (Joel Kingston photo).
Then, on the Griffins' next possession, Henderson ripped a shot past Kalyar for her seventh of the year.
"Saskatchewan did well to put pressure on us, and they were able to get that goal, but I loved our response. We were able to score just a few minutes later and that shows our grit and our sense of togetherness," said Morrell.
"We want to show that if we get scored against, we don't put our heads down, we regroup and just keep playing."
Breanna Truscott (Joel Kingston photo).
Bianca Castillo (Joel Kingston photo).
Maya Morrell (Joel Kingston photo).
Erin Van Dolder (Joel Kingston photo).
Anna McPhee (Joel Kingston photo).