A strong opening weekend for the Huskies women’s soccer team

By in Sports & Health
The Huskie Women’s squad took to the pitch in their first showing against the Manitoba Bisons. | Heywood Yu

The University of Saskatchewan women’s soccer team put on a good show during their Green and White Invitational on Aug. 24 and 26. Of two games played in Nutrien Park against the Manitoba Bisons, the Huskies won one and tied the other.

In their first game of the weekend against the Bisons, the two teams fought to a draw on Friday afternoon. Midfielder Alexandra Labach scored the team’s only goal, taking the game to a 1-1 tie. The Green and White Invitational then continued with a special event — the alumni game.

While none of the matches that were played over the weekend will impact the regular season for the women’s team, the games were special nonetheless. Aug. 25 was an opportunity for the Huskies alumni team to take the field against Manitoba in some friendly competition.

The second game played by the official Huskies women’s squad was a 3-1 victory for the Huskies. This win was achieved thanks to goals scored by midfielders Megan Ripplinger, Payton Izsak and Taisa Gabruch.

Ripplinger, who made an impact last season playing for the Huskies women’s soccer team, was also a member of the Canada West rookie all-star team last year. Izsak and Gabruch are two of the nine new recruits added to the Huskies women’s soccer team for the 2018-19 season.

Head Coach Jerson Barandica-Hamilton believes the addition of these players will be a great asset to the team moving forward into the new season.

David Hartman

“All of these players possess great character, an eagerness and willingness to learn and challenge each other, and most importantly, bring a high level of technical ability and football IQ, [so] we foresee them adjusting well into our playing philosophy of being a possession- and attack-minded team,” said Barandica-Hamilton, in an interview with Huskie Athletics published on June 28. “Our recruits will bring an immediate desire to contribute, as they are coming from high-quality programs and have shown, already, a competitive drive to push our existing standards to new levels of success.”

Last season ended for the women’s soccer team with a quarter-final match against the UBC Thunderbirds, who defeated the Huskies 3-0. Thus, the Dogs finished second in the Canada West Prairie Division.

With nine new recruits who are already proving to work well with the team’s veterans, this could be a bright season for the Huskies. Coach Barandica-Hamilton has high hopes for the 2018-19 team.

“We believe that is one of the most impressive recruiting classes we have brought on board,” said Barandica-Hamilton, in the same interview with Huskie Athletics.

The team’s next game is an exhibition in Lloydminster against the MacEwan University Griffins on Aug. 28. They begin the Canada West season on Sept. 8 with a match against the University of Winnipeg Wesmen at Nutrien Park.

David Hartman

Ana Cristina Camacho / Staff Writer

Photos: Heywood Yu, David Hartman