WINNIPEG — The match against the Winnipeg Wesmen moved indoors, but the sudden change in venue ended up favouring the home side, as the Heat avoided the rain but not the loss.
Leading Winnipeg it was freshman Taryn Raabe, who earned her first career clean sheet, and Alycia Mann, who scored her first career goal and the Wesmen women's soccer team ended a two-year winless drought as UBC Okanagan fell 2-0 on Friday night.
Threatening thunderstorms forced the teams indoors to the Winnipeg Soccer Federation North facility about 10 kilometres north of the downtown complex. It was the first time since Sept. 4, 2015 the Wesmen were forced to move indoors. That game four years ago was, coincidentally, also against the Heat.
After the Heat manipulated most of the possession time in the first half, it was nevertheless the Wesmen who got on the board first. Team-leading scorer Shae-Lynn Dodds was sprung free down the left flank and behind the UBCO back line on a free run towards keeper Emma Terrillon. Terrillon made the initial stop on Dodds but aggressively took the forward down after the ball had passed, warranting a yellow card from head official Alex Castro and a kick from the penalty spot.
Mann, a second-year midfielder, confidently stepped up and struck the first goal of her career in the 39th minute.
Moments later it was Raabe's time to shine. UBCO gained a penalty from the spot in the waning seconds of time added on in the first and the first-year keeper dove to her left and stopped Jessica Ambrosio's strike to keep the score 1-0 into halftime. Raabe finished with nine saves.
Dodds would add to Winnipeg's total in the 65th, sliding to a loose ball ahead of Terrillon and nudging it past into the corner for her third of the season and 10th since the start of 2018. In that span, Dodds has been one of the top goal-scorers in Canada West.
"I don't think it's pressure (to be a goal scorer). It's my job out here. Everyone has their own job and that's mine," Dodds said.
"It feels good to finally get a win. We've been working super-hard and I think we deserved it. I think a lot of us kinda felt it tonight that we were going to get a win. It's been super-frustrating the past couple games. We've been competing but just never able to really get the result we wanted."
Terrillon finished with four saves and the Heat fell to 0-5 and were shut out for the fifth time this season.
"You've got to capitalize on your chances and if you don't you can get caught," UBCO head coach Craig Smith said. "... We were putting in a lot of high crosses without getting any strikers who can consider getting to the byline and be patient. But if you don't score goals, you don't win games. But they're trying. It's not like they want to make mistakes, they're trying. We've just got to get back on the training pitch and figure it out."
Winnipeg (1-4) won for the first time since Sept. 23, 2017 and will face Thompson Rivers Saturday. UBCO will take on Manitoba. That match has also been moved indoors, but will still start at 5 p.m. PDT. Watch live on CanadaWest.tv presented by Co-op.
~ David Larkins, Winnipeg Wesmen