Mwasalla scores second-straight brace, now has five goals in three games as Griffins blank Wesmen 2-0

Grace Mwasalla scored her fourth and fifth goals of the Canada West season to lead MacEwan past Winnipeg 2-0 (David Larkins photo).
Grace Mwasalla scored her fourth and fifth goals of the Canada West season to lead MacEwan past Winnipeg 2-0 (David Larkins photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

WINNIPEG – On an absolute scorcher in the Manitoba capital with temperatures reaching 35 C, Grace Mwasalla continued her blistering early-season play, recording her second-straight brace to lead the Griffins past the Wesmen 2-0 in Canada West women's soccer action Saturday afternoon.

The electric striker scored in the 48th and 75th minutes and is now up to five goals through the first three games of the season, following up a two-goal effort against Saskatchewan at home a week ago.

"I think my comment last day was she's at a whole other level, but I think right now she's on a whole other planet with the way she's playing," said Griffins head coach Dean Cordeiro. "She always steps up when it's needed."

Mwasalla is on pace to break the program record she set with a conference-leading 15 goals in 14 games last season. 

And with three-straight game-winning tallies, she's up to seven in her career, which is just one shy of the program career mark set by Raeghan McCarthy in 2021.

More importantly, though, is team success as the Griffins move to 3-0-0 on the season, dropping Winnipeg to 0-3-0.

MacEwan had an absolute shooting gallery going on Saturday, launching 28 shot attempts at the Winnipeg goal with 19 on target, tying for the second-most on goal by a Griffins team since they joined Canada West in 2014. 

Winnipeg's goalkeeper Madison Priebe came up with a day, however, making 17 saves – the most by any keeper in Canada West women's soccer play this season, and tied for eighth-most all-time.

"It was one of those games," said Cordeiro of a match they could have won by a much bigger score, outshooting the Wesmen 28-3 (19-1 on target). "Credit her, she stood on her head. We had countless opportunities early on. 

"We wanted to get that first one a little bit earlier today; it would have helped take care of the result a little sooner. But credit them. They posed issues, they sat back and made it tough. They got in lanes. It was hard to get around. The keeper had one to remember today, for sure."

MacEwan also outpaced the Wesmen 14-0 on corner kicks, tying a 2021 record for the most they've had in a Canada West regular season game. Grace Schimpf had 10 of those, tied for second-most in a CW game by a Griffin.

Mwasalla's second goal came off a corner when Abbey Wright got a touch on Bryn Mortensen's offering into the centre of the box before Mwasalla put it home.


Her first of the game was off a terrific assist from Anneke Odinga, who took a pass from Brenna Paquin on an overlap run up the right side and sent in a ball on a tee for Mwasalla, who charged onto the pass and drilled it home.

"It was a nice little combo play," said Cordeiro. "Anneke Odinga was breaking lines and doing her thing. She was next level as well today, creating quite a bit for us. 

"It was one of those days – unlucky to only get two, but I think our biggest emphasis was getting the clean sheet and taking care of goal. We're proud of Sabrina's first-ever clean sheet at the U SPORTS level."

Rookie keeper Sabrina Alexander now has three victories on the season and is just two shy of Emily Burns' program rookie record of five, set in 2015.

The Griffins will be back in action at Manitoba (1-2-0) on Sunday (12 p.m. MT, Canada West TV).