This weekend saw the beginning of soccer season at the U of A, the second week of football and a kickoff to preseason exhibition games for the U of A’s two hockey teams.
Golden Bears Football:
The Bears were hoping for a strong performance coming off being shut out 32-0 in the season opener against the University of Saskatchewan, but the nationally third-ranked University of Calgary Dinos were too much for the Bears and they dominated in a 65-6 win.
The 65 points scored by Calgary was the fifth-highest total in the Canada West conference since 1995, and their 650 yards of total offence dwarfed the 157 yards amassed by the U of A. With the Bears’ points coming from two field goals kicked by Stephen Fabian, the team still has yet to score a touchdown since Oct. 22, 2011.
Starting U of A quarterback Curtis Dell went 3-for-10 for 33 yards in the first half of the game before being replaced by Ryan Schwartz for the later half of the game. Schwartz couldn’t figure out the Dinos defence either, going 6-for-16 for 58 yards. Meanwhile, U of C running back Mercer Timmis made his CIS debut by being the game’s leading rusher, taking five carries for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Besides a busy night for Fabian — scoring six points, but hitting the field to punt 12 times — the lone bright spots for the Bears came from tailback Tyler Lewis, who rushed for 65 yards, and linebacker Tyler Greenslade, who led the team with six tackles on defence.
The Golden Bears return to Foote Field for their home opener next Friday as they host the University of Regina Rams. The U of R will have momentum after scoring 42 unanswered points in a 49-20 win during their own home opener against UBC on Friday night.
The opening weekend of the Pandas season saw the nationally fifth-ranked team leave a B.C. road trip with an undefeated record of 1-0-1.
The Pandas opened the trip with a 1-1 tie against the University of Victoria on Friday night after a late goal from Victoria’s Mallory Hackett tied the game. The U of A’s goal came from third-year forward Kayla Michaels after she was left alone in the six-yard box by the Vike’s defence in the second half.
The next day, the Pandas defeated the University of Fraser Valley Cascades in a close 2-1 game. UFV was looking strong after a 3-0 shutout against Mount Royal University the previous day, but the Pandas pressured them on offence in the first half until fifth-year players Carleigh Miller and Amanda Black scored within seven minutes of one another in the first half. The Cascades controlled play for much of the second half with Page Friesen scoring UFV’s single goal, but the Pandas were able to hold on for the win.
Next weekend, the Pandas will travel to southern Alberta for a pair of games against the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge. Both teams are sitting at records of 0-2-0 after losing by margins of four to five goals in every game they played against UBC and Trinity Western University this past weekend.
Golden Bears Soccer:
The Golden Bears soccer team got off to a good start this season, winning their home opener against the Mount Royal University Cougars 7-0 on Saturday afternoon.
The team was led by third-year striker Marcus Johnstone, whose four-point game tied a CanWest record for most points in a single game, held by four other players. Johnstone also scored a goal in the second minute of play, 43 seconds after teammate Cameron Schmidt had opened scoring, setting a new CanWest record. Johnstone now sits at 11th place on the Golden Bears all-time conference scoring list with 16 goals.
When the team traveled to Calgary for the rematch against MRU on Sunday, the Bears again refused to allow a goal to be scored against them, shutting out the Cougars 4-0. With this impressive start for the team, the Golden Bears will prepare for a game next Saturday against the UNBC Timberwolves.
Golden Bears Hockey:
The Golden Bears’ offence was showcased to fans in two exhibition games this week against the Augustana Vikings. In the two teams’ home-and-home series, the Bears won by scores of 6-1 and 5-1. The U of A followed this series with two games this weekend in Calgary against their CanWest rivals at the U of C that both ended in close 3-2 victories for the Golden Bears. U of A forward Kruise Reddick converted a 2-on-1 opportunity for the go ahead goal on Sunday against the U of C with less than five minutes remaining the game to take the lead and eventually win the game. The Bears will now prepare for a similar home-and-home series with another Calgary school when they play SAITin exhibition action next Friday and Saturday.
The Pandas hockey squad got their preseason off to a good start with a number of exhibition wins. On Friday, the team defeated a Bantam AAA boys team 5-4, following it with a 2-1 victory over one of Spruce Grove’s Midget level AAA teams. The Pandas then completed the sweep on Sunday afternoon when they took on the U-18 Team Alberta and won 4-3. Exhibition action will continue for the Pandas next weekend when they play a number of nearby non-CIS schools in games against Red Deer College, Grant MacEwan and NAIT.
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