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On bleary day, banged-up Wesmen fall short

Winnipeg's Alycia Mann (right) battles for a ball with Calgary's Maiya Lee during action Saturday afternoon at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)
Winnipeg's Alycia Mann (right) battles for a ball with Calgary's Maiya Lee during action Saturday afternoon at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex. (David Larkins/Wesmen Athletics)

David Larkins, Wesmen Athletics

WINNIPEG — Under miserable conditions, the Winnipeg Wesmen got a dose of bad news courtesy of the Calgary Dinos.

Jordan Smith scored her first two goals of the season and the Dinos women's soccer team, which got on the board twice in the first 10 minutes, pulled away for a 4-1 Canada West conference victory Saturday afternoon.

Temperatures dipped to as low as 2 C at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex, with a driving rain turning to sleet at points, accompanied by nearly 30 km/h winds.

The Dinos, who played in the wet during a West Coast sweep last weekend, seemed unfazed, with Madison Fritze and Smith scoring in the fourth and seventh minutes, respectively, to put the Wesmen on their heels.

The Wesmen were able to get themselves back in the match temporarily when Shae-Lynn Dodds scored in the 62nd minute to draw Winnipeg to 2-1 down. It was Dodds' third goal of the season, which eclipses her two-goal total from her freshman year in 2017.

Calgary, however, responded almost immediately, with reserve Sofia Mondaca scoring her first goal of the season just three minutes later. Smith netted her second in the 89th minute to round out the scoring.

Winnipeg played with a back line ravaged by injuries. Regular starters Amy Clayton, Nicole Redekopp and Sara Boissonneault were all hurt last weekend and sat out, in addition to veteran fullback Katia Occhino, who has missed all five of U of W's conference matches thus far due to injury.

"I was impressed because we had a new back four and I thought they were calm on the ball," Wesmen head coach Amy Anderson said. "But if you start slow against a quality team you get punished."

Winnipeg's injury woes got worse in the 18th minute when third-year starting keeper Madison Fordyce, who has started 17 of 19 Wesmen matches since she arrived last season, was hurt and left the game. She was relieved by freshman Jayda Mushinski, the usual third-string keeper who was thrust into back-up duty when regular No. 2 Emma Dutiaume was forced to dress as a reserve to fill other holes in the Winnipeg lineup, Mushinski allowed two goals but was sharp under duress, forcing a misfire on a 2-on-zero and then making a point-blank save later in the second half.

"I was really impressed, but I'm not surprised. That's why we recruited her. There's a lot of potential in her and it was a good opportunity for her to show what she can do," Anderson said. "She held herself really well."

The Dinos, meanwhile, won their fourth in a row after a season-opening setback to the Alberta Pandas. And they did it with their biggest offensive output of the season.

"Relief is probably the right term," Calgary head coach Troye Flannery said. "This same group of attacking players set all kinds of records in our program a couple years ago, so we're back healthy now and it feels pretty good."

The Wesmen will play host to the Lethbridge Pronghorns Sunday at 2 p.m., while the Dinos go across town to take on the Manitoba Bisons.