Griffins complete Sept. 16 postponed match 22 days later with 3-1 win over Cougars

Brenna Paquin runs past a defender on the right flank Sunday. Paquin was credited with the game-winner, scored back on Sept. 16, as MacEwan completed the match and won 3-1 (Joel Kingston photo).
Brenna Paquin runs past a defender on the right flank Sunday. Paquin was credited with the game-winner, scored back on Sept. 16, as MacEwan completed the match and won 3-1 (Joel Kingston photo).

Jefferson Hagen
MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – The circumstances were unusual for everyone.

Sunday's match began with a dropped ball 35:05 into the contest with the MacEwan Griffins women's soccer team leading 2-0 over the Mount Royal University Cougars – exactly where it left off on Sept. 16 when it was suspended due to the air quality index.

They played 10 minutes before taking the customary half-time break and returned to Clarke Stadium field to finish the final 45 and change where both teams netted a goal in a 3-1 MacEwan victory.

It took 22 days, but the Griffins can finally salt this one away in the win column.

"Taking that time off, you kind of put it in your back pocket and were focusing on the games in between," said MacEwan Game MVP Hannah Harper. "Then we had to re-evaluate, go back, and watch that first 35 we played to get back in that head space, then go out and play. It was kind of weird – the 10 minutes, then half-time – but I thought we adjusted really well to it."

Harper officially opened the scoring in the contest – way back on Sept. 16 – when she launched an 11th-minute strike from distance over the head of keeper Torrance Langdon and in.

"The other team took a throw-in, and I picked it off the player," said the rookie when asked to recall how it happened. "I saw the (keeper) was off the line and I thought I would just kick it, and it went in from 35 yards out, which was really nice to see."

Harper finished the game with six shots – two on target – and was a thorn in MRU's side both days.

"It's kind of a two-part match," said head coach Dean Cordeiro. "I thought she was fantastic in the first 35 – scored a hell of a goal – and I thought she was pulling strings for us in midfield today. Some great deception in there. She had some close calls, and she was just driving play. 

"For such a young player to be someone we rely on and can step up in there, we're very happy with her performance today."

Brenna Paquin officially will be credited with the winner, which also happened back on Sept. 16 when she took a pass from Grace Mwasalla juked a defender and beat Langdon inside the left post with a left-footed blast from the top of the box in the 30thminute.

Mwasalla, injured since Sept. 17, gets her team-leading 11th point of the season, but was subbed out for Nicole Noble at Sunday's resumption of play as both teams were forced to go with their lineups from the original game. Anneke Odinga was also unable to play, so Avery Brisebois came in for MacEwan.

MRU was without Natasha Fourlas, so Kareena Kassam came on for her.

MacEwan was able to extend its lead in the 50th minute when Langdon inadvertently passed the ball right to Alyx Henderson, who had an easy tap-in. Langdon went down with an injury on the play and was replaced by Natalija Djurisic, who played the final 38:25 of the match.

The Griffins didn't really test the MRU backup, though, and got caught sitting back a bit. That led to the Cougars scoring in the 76th when Tamara Djurisic recorded her team-leading eighth of the season on a scintillating free kick over the wall and under the bar past keeper Sabrina Alexander from just outside the box.

"We scored the goal, and the keeper left the game, and then we didn't really test the keeper that went on," said Cordeiro. "But credit them. They made it difficult to play in front of us and once they got the third goal, they had nothing to lose, so they just threw everything at us. We just wanted to make sure we didn't give them too many quality looks. 

"We'll take the three points. I'm happy with the performance. Mount Royal's been a very good run of late – much different team today than when we played them a few weeks back."

With the result, the Griffins stay on top of the Canada West Prairie Division with a 9-2-1 record, three points up on surging Saskatchewan (8-3-1) and four clear of Calgary (7-2-3). MRU falls to 4-5-3.

The Griffins will finish the regular season next weekend with matches at Calgary on Oct. 14 and Lethbridge on Oct. 15.