MRU scores win on ugly day in Regina

Photo credit to Arthur Ward
Photo credit to Arthur Ward
REGINA, Sask. – A miserable Saturday afternoon on the U of R Field saw Mount Royal University score two first-half goals and hang on for a 2-1 win over the University of Regina women's soccer team.

Janai Martens scored twice for MRU, with goals in the 23rd and 32nd minutes. Both markers were set up by Erin Holt. Nikita Senko replied for the Cougars in the 58th minute, converting a penalty kick after Brianna Wright drew a foul in the box.

With a game-time forecast of 1-degree Celsius and rain, not to mention a wind gusting to 40 km/h, the two teams were visibly affected by the conditions.

Mount Royal didn't waste any time getting a quality scoring chance, as a shot by Erin Holt in the first minute was just pushed aside by a sliding Lauren Petras. MRU followed the early chance up with five consecutive corner kicks over a two-minute span, but the Cougars held strong.

Martens picked up her first of the match in the 23rd minute, taking a long cross from Holt and beating rookie keeper Kylie Bolton for her first of the season. The second goal off the foot of the third-year midfielder came off another nice ball from Holt, as Martens buried it to the bottom right corner of the net.

Regina drew closer in the 58th minute as Senko notched her second penalty kick goal of the season, beating Rose Hemans to the top-left corner with a well-placed strike.

The Cougars generated two excellent chances in the dying minutes of the match, but were unable to find the equalizing goal. Both efforts were courtesy of Jet Davies - from point-blank range in the 79th minute, and the top of the box in the 89th. The first shot was thwarted by Hemans, and the second one found the crossbar before Meghan McFee's rebound attempt was blocked wide of the goal.

Both teams had 15 shots and eight on goal, while MRU had 10 corner kick opportunities compared to eight for the Cougars.

Regina (1-4-0) will host undefeated Alberta on Sunday afternoon, as the Pandas moved to 5-0-0 with a 2-1 win over Saskatchewan on Saturday. MRU will head up the road to Saskatoon to take on the winless Huskies.