Women's Weekly: Touchdown!

Catching up with the women of Whitecaps FC

We’re now past the halfway point of October and last summer’s 2011 Whitecaps FC women’s players return for another segment of Women’s Weekly after a busy week of university sport, international duty and Girls Elite action. With the CIS Canada West playoffs only two weeks away, NCAA conference play heating up, and the 2011 Pan American Games opening, the ‘Caps women battled in some tough matches last week.

But first, we lead things off with some big news! It seems former ‘Caps striker Sydney Leroux has decided to switch to another type of football. Check out the video below to see what she’s made of. (UCLA Athletics)

XVI PAN AM GAMES:

The Canadian women’s national soccer team opened their Preliminary Round of Group A action with a 3-1 victory over Costa Rica on Tuesday. Former Whitecaps FC player and Red and White captain Christine Sinclair scored her team’s second goal off an assist from another former ‘Caps player, Kaylyn Kyle. Former ‘Caps players Shannon Woeller, Candace Chapman, and Sophie Schmidt all played a strong 90 minutes while Robyn Gale replaced Desiree Scott in the 74th minute.  Canada’s next match takes place against Argentina on October 20. (whitecapsfc.com)

CIS:

University of Victoria forward Jaclyn Sawicki helped keep her squad’s playoff aspirations alive this past weekend as the Vikes earned a 2-2 draw against Manitoba on Saturday before earning a 1-0 victory over Regina in Vancouver Island. With the result, Victoria improves to (5W-4L-3D) and currently owns the fourth and final playoff spot in CIS Canada West conference. (Victoria Vikes)

Trinity Western University goalkeeper Kristen Funk earned a 1-1 result for the Spartans against UBC Thunderbirds on Saturday night. The draw keeps first place Trinity Western two points ahead of third place British Columbia and extends the 8W-1L-1D Spartans unbeaten streak to nine matches. (TWU Athletics)

NCAA:

Leroux should probably stick to soccer, and this past weekend she faced former ‘Caps teammate Nicole Setterlund, who helped her Washington State Cougars play a fantastic match on Saturday against Leroux and her UCLA Bruins in a 0-0 draw. Leroux, however, nearly clinched the match for the Bruins in overtime with a shot that struck the Cougar’s crossbar. (WSU Cougars + UCLA Bruins)

UNC Tar Heels also played to a scoreless draw against Wake Forest last weekend with midfielder Amber Brooks nearly scoring the match winning goal in the 98th minute. “Carolina had the best chance to score as Amber Brooks tough angle shot from the left side of the box was knocked down by Bledsoe and sent over the goal line for a corner kick”. (Tar Heel Blue)

While Rutgers Scarlet Knights were busy in action last weekend, starting centre back Shannon Woeller was absent as she participates in the XVI Pan Am Games for Canada. “The RU captain – who has four caps on the international stage – will miss the final three games of the Scarlet Knights season after seeing 90 plus minutes in 14 of 15 matches this season”. (Rutgers University)

Penn State Nittany Lions defender Lexi Marton helped goalkeeper Erin McNulty earn a combined clean sheet last weekend in a 4-0 victory over Iowa. Splitting duties with teammate Krissy Tribbert, the duo combined for PSU’s seventh shutout of the season against a team PSU hasn’t conceded a goal against since Nov 6, 2008. (GoPSUsports.com)

Ciara McCormack continued her weekly feature in The Province this week. McCormack’s entry titled, ‘Success comes from the Infrastructure’ highlights five important factors that could make soccer in Canada continue to grow the women’s game, including the possible idea of a women’s domestic league. (Ciara McCormack – The Province)

GIRLS ELITE UPDATE:

by Carrie Taylor

Last Thursday evening, the Whitecaps FC U-18 Girls Elite team faced the Columbus Clan women’s premier team of Vancouver’ Metro Women’s Soccer League (MWSL). The ‘Caps girls were victorious, beating the Clan 2-0 and extending their shutout streak to three consecutive matches.

The game was controlled from the beginning by the Whitecaps, as they had many dangerous runs into the final third that fell short. That was until 13 minutes into the match, when Elise Wyatt intercepted a pass, beat her defender and then found Navneet Samra with a diagonal pass. Samra took a touch and then hit a great left-footed shot to the upper corner of the goal for the opening score. The team possessed the ball comfortably and did a nice job of utilizing the defenders to switch the point of attack.

In the second half, the Clan looked to compress the field and played a very high defensive line. The ‘Caps were able to get in on the right flank and had a few solid opportunities with the Columbus goalkeeper making three solid saves.

The ‘Caps eventually got the insurance goal at the 74 minute mark when Aman Shergill, played a ball through for Lucielle Kozlov, who first timed it, and got her own rebound off of the goalkeeper’s initial save to slot it home and wrap up a 2-0 win. Goalkeepers  Zoe Makrigiannis, Kayla Klim and Jules McDonald combined for the shut-out.

Next Match: WFC U-18 Girls Elite vs. NSGSC Renegades women’s team on Thursday, October 20th at SFU #4, 7:30 pm.