Cougars get their own star of the week
author: konstantin kharitonov | sports editor
Vibert at it again / Nathan McCarville
Vibert receives accolade
While it hasn’t been the prettiest start to the season, the Cougars can be happy with the efforts they are seeing from their players. The defence has been relatively solid, not allowing more than 3 goals so far in the season. However, the offence does still need to get going, and quickly. Thankfully, they do have the weapons necessary. Its all about putting it together.
One such weapon in the arsenal for the Cougars is second-year Kyra Vibert, who kicked off her season with an offensive outburst (not intentionally), scoring two goals against the University of Winnipeg in their season’s first win and another assist during the following loss to the University of Manitoba. As such, she was named the Canada West Second Star of the Week for her offensive performance.
Not too shabby for the sophomore, especially coming after a rookie season which saw her put up 1 goal on the season. Playing with more confidence, its looking like she is ready to become a difference maker for the Cougars as the season comes along. Looking at how the team has struggled to produce goals since Vibert’s win, it is going to be needed if the team is looking at the postseason.
Vibert’s coach Bob Maltman likes what he sees so far from the young striker, mentioning how she can capitalize on her strong play.
“Kyra was very dynamic throughout both matches and I’m happy to see her get rewarded for all of the hard work she put in over the offseason.”
And happy he should be because it brought the first win of the season for the time at a much earlier time than it did the season before, when it took until the second-last game of the season for the Cougars to record a win, ironically also against the UofW. If they have any hope of making the playoffs, they need to get wins early and continue to look dynamic, which is not a problem for Vibert in the eyes of Maltman, who mentions her positioning as a great factor to her play.
“Kyra exhibited great movement off the ball, especially in the Winnipeg match, with some well-timed runs and attacks inside the penalty area, which had been an area of focus for us in training.”
Its that type of play that the Cougars can look at and see that they have a player who can produce offence for them.
Since her nomination for the award, the cougars have played their two games, with the MRU (not as cool) Cougars and the UofA Pandas coming to town. Unfortunately for the locals, Regina lost 2-1 and had a 0-0 banger of a game against he two teams respectfully. Again, the defence is there, it’s the offence that has yet to really find its strive and really show what it can do.
Vibert so far into the season is the leading goal scorer, tied for 18th and the only one so far to show up on Canada West’s website for goals. She is also 15th in the conference with eight shots on net through the 6 games, two ahead of the next Regina player, Sydney Langen who has six and three more than Jet Davies with 5. Unfortunately for the Cougars, Langen and Davies have yet to burst through with any goals or assists but it showcases just how the team has the pieces they need for success but have yet to really take off. If any of the two could start having one of their shots going in, the Cougars can all the sudden have some really offensive depth and may be starting to win games with two or three goals instead of having to rely on winning a war on attrition against teams who have the offensive depth to burn them. Its all about figuring out just what each player must do more to finally get some more goals. Its all here.
The next two games for the Cougars are going against the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns and the University of Calgary Dinos. These two teams have drastically different make ups to them, as the former is a bottom of the league team who has yet to win a game and has a goal differential of 2-14 while the latter is a much stronger team with five wins and only one loss who have a somewhat modest 9-3 goal differential. While a game against the Dinos most likely will be war since both teams rely on their strong defensive play, the Cougars need this one against the Pronghorns and need an offensive outburst. By dominating a lesser team, it can really be the breakout some of the players need.
Hopefully for the Cougars, Vibert won’t be to only Cougar on the goal list for very long. They are going to need it if they want to go deep this season.