Griffins score seven in shellacking of visiting WolfPack

A trio of Thompson Rivers defenders descend upon Meagan Lemoine in front of their net Sunday. And for good reason: Lemoine, who had a goal and two assists, pressured their cage all afternoon (Chris Piggott photo).
A trio of Thompson Rivers defenders descend upon Meagan Lemoine in front of their net Sunday. And for good reason: Lemoine, who had a goal and two assists, pressured their cage all afternoon (Chris Piggott photo).

Jefferson Hagen, MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Under siege for the lion's share of 90 minutes, Thompson Rivers goalkeeper Danielle Robertson was the big reason her team didn't allow double digits.

The MacEwan Griffins peppered her with a school record 17 shots on net, marching off with a 7-2 win in front of 100 fans braving a blustery Sunday afternoon at Jasper Place Bowl.

"It was fantastic," said Griffins head coach Dean Cordeiro, whose squad improves to 2-0-0 and sits atop the Canada West standings. "We've been working hard. Again, it's a process – it's taken us some time. But we're much more clinical in the attacking third.

"We had a lot of chances, early on especially. To have five at half time and pretty much bury the chances that were given to us is great to see," he added. "We're scoring in all different kinds of ways – corner kicks, throw-ins, penalties and in the run of play. Those are recipes for success in being a team that can score in different types of ways."

Kaylin Hermanutz, an Edmontonian who transferred to the Griffins from the NCAA University Tennessee-Chattanooga this season, led the way with two goals, while Meagan Lemoine registered a goal and two assists. Brittany Costa, Raeghan McCarthy, Suekiana Choucair and Kristen Skrundz also tallied for MacEwan in the huge victory.

"The chemistry between the team is unreal and to have six different goal scorers is unreal," said Lemoine, who completed a five-point opening weekend for the Griffins. "We're just so well off all over. It's great. You can't just pick one person to take out and screw the team over. Everyone makes such a difference."

TRU only had three shots on net, but scored on two of them - freshman Camryn Curts in the 39th minute and freshman Olivia Bates right before the final whistle.

Thompson Rivers head coach Kelly Shantz was quick to give credit to the Griffins for scoring seven on them.

"They did a great job of finishing," he said. "They finished their chances and were clinical. You've got to give them credit for that.

"On the other side of it, we actually didn't play terribly bad. There was a lot of stretches where we did some good things, but on the fourth, fifth pass we were making horrible mistakes – balls played into our backs and giving up breakaways. That's a learning curve. That's seven freshmen on the field against an experienced team with a lot of veterans."

Hermanutz opened the scoring for the Griffins in the eighth minute when she took a seam pass from Lemoine and buried it low right corner.

Just six minutes later in the 14th, Lemoine was sprung by Meghan Oram and chipped it low left corner past Robertson, who came out to challenge.

By the 16th minute, it was 3-0 Griffins when Brittany Costa blasted a 37-yard cracker that went bar down.

In the 36th minute, Lemoine threw the ball in from the sideline, it bounced twice in the box and onto the boot of Raeghan McCarthy, who fired it home from the far side of the box.

Three minutes later, TRU got on the board when Natalie Verdiel's 40-yard free kick sailed over the head of defender Jamie Erickson and Curts snuck in back side to pot it far side past MacEwan's Emily Burns, who had no chance.

But before the half was out, Lemoine was taken down in the box by Verdiel, giving Suekiana Choucair a penalty kick. She made no mistake in the low right corner.

The second half was more of the same: all MacEwan. Choucair had two early near misses, Erickson put it just over the bar and Salma Kamel hit the post on a breakaway before Hermanutz finally made it 6-1, taking a McCarthy pass, running outside of her defender and planting it inside the right post.

Lemoine was then robbed on two more breakaways, Costa beat the keeper but not Madison Catt, who saved it off the line in the 73rd minute, and Sophie Robertson's header was parried away by the WolfPack goalie.

Finally, Skrundz made it 7-1 in the 90th minute when she one-touched Choucair's corner kick out of the air on the far side.

Bates added a second for TRU in extra time when she found an open net in a scramble in front of Griffins backup keeper Tianna Groeneveld, who entered the game in the 70th minute.

"We'll be a little bit critical and a couple of the goals we conceded today, we've got to be sharper," said Cordeiro. "It's unlike us. We've got to be switched on for 90 minutes in all phases of the game.

"But scoring seven goals – it's a record for us since we've been in the league. It's a great output, so we've got to take the positives, but if we're going to continue to progress where we need to go, we've got to make sure we're improving on the things we need to improve on as well."

The Griffins next host their cross-town rival, the Alberta Pandas on Sept. 15 and Mount Royal on Sept. 17, while TRU travels to Saskatchewan and Regina on Sept. 16-17.