Cougars surpass all-time wins total in a season
On the surface, there is nothing that impressive about a 2-1 victory.
For the University of Regina Cougars women’s soccer team, however, those numbers were huge.
Last weekend, in their second of two Canada West games, the Cougars topped the visiting University of Lethbridge Pronghorns 2-1 in Regina’s third win of the season. The team’s current record is now officially the most victories they have ever recorded in a season.
“It’s certainly a boost to our program,” Cougars head coach Bob Maltman explained. “The three wins are good for the players. To have success, players must have a tremendous amount of will and sacrifice to commit to their training during and after the season. Because of this effort, the players are starting to be rewarded.”
Zoe Threlfall scored her first goal of the season in the 57th minute. Regina added some insurance when Megan Cormier also tallied her first goal of the season on a header in the 82nd minute. Michelle Anderson, who has made clutch saves for Regina all season long, only needed to make on save.
In the victory, the Cougars were down 1-0 heading into the second half but fought back.
“We statistically dominated the game from beginning to end yet found ourselves behind from a corner kick,” said Maltman. “Our players are much more resilient this year and they were able to come back with a couple of key goals. We’ve got a confident group of young women who believe they can do things.”
While propelling the Cougars into the history books, the win also helped move the Cougars closer to their collective goal of six wins this season.
“We’re on track for the goals we set,” Maltman noted. “There are going to be a lot of milestones as we move towards six wins. This season, we wanted to minimize the shots on goal and the goals against. With four games left, we are on track to achieve both of these goals.”
“As a team, we’ve tried not to focus so much on the playoffs. If we attain those goals, and the playoffs become a result of that, we’ve done OK.”
Regina has some work to do if they hope to make the playoffs. The Cougars are seventh in the conference at 3-5-2 and only four teams make the playoffs. Regina is two points behind the 4-5-1 University of Fraser Valley Cascades. The 4-4-2 University of Calgary Dinos and 5-4-1 University of Saskatchewan Huskies are the other two teams standing in the way of Regina’s playoff chances.
The Cougars are to finish off the season with four road games. They play Victoria on Saturday and Fraser Valley on Sunday. The next week, Regina has a pair of games against the University of Manitoba Bisons.
For Maltman, the equation for making the playoffs is simple.
“We need to find a way to win the majority of those games,” Maltman offered. “This league has shown that regardless of your previous history as a program, anything can happen.”
Regina had a chance to pick up the historic victory on Saturday, but fell 1-0 to the visiting Dinos. The Cougars allowed a penalty kick early in the game and couldn’t recover. Anderson stopped five shots for the Cougars.