CALGARY – In the first of a two-game home-and-home contest, the University of Calgary men's soccer dropped a 2-1 decision to Mount Royal University on Saturday evening at West Varsity Pitch.
Bryce Connors netted the only goal for the University of Calgary (3-6-0) in the 84th minute, while Orest Ndabaneze scored twice for the Mount Royal Cougars (3-3-3).
Locked in a defensive battle all throughout the first half, the Dinos kept pushing forward, creating excellent chances. Early in the 6th minute, Bori Falaye made an impressive attempt on net, managing to out-manoeuvre three Cougars, but was turned aside by goalkeeper Kyran Valley's outstretched hand. Moments later, Mark Bohdan tried to knock in an advantage, but it was also grabbed by Valley.
Though third-year Bohdan impressed with three shots on goal, his attempts were ultimately denied; rookies Cristiano De Carvalho and Dominik Zuczek were equally dangerous but unable to overpower the rival goalkeeper.
The Cougars grabbed a 2-0 lead right after halftime, putting eight shots on target and creating much work for Dinos goalkeeper, Jake Ruschkowski.
Calgary refused to accept defeat though, and, early in the 84th minute, Connors received a phenomenal ball in from Falaye, and confidently chipped the ball over Valley's outstretched hand, for his second goal of the season.
Commenting his goal, Bryce modestly remarked, "It's good to get out there and try to get a goal, try to get the team back together. But we need to get a couple more… We started out quick today, moving the ball around, but then we began collapsing in the middle a bit. This has been taunting us all season and will cost us in the long run, so we have to come together and have a three-point game tomorrow."
The University of Calgary was outshot 13-11 by the Mount Royal Cougars but held the edge in corner kicks, 3-2. Valley made a total of seven saves for the Cougars, while Ruschkowski defended the Calgary net five times.
Mount Royal University will host the Dinos tomorrow, Sunday, October 8. Game time is set for 1:30 PM MDT.