Griffins fail to bury multiple chances against Heat, suffer 1-0 upset defeat

Suekiana Choucair battles against UBC-Okanagan during a match last season. The Griffins fell 1-0 to the Heat on Sunday (Chris Piggott photo).
Suekiana Choucair battles against UBC-Okanagan during a match last season. The Griffins fell 1-0 to the Heat on Sunday (Chris Piggott photo).

Jefferson Hagen / MacEwan Athletics

KELOWNA, B.C. – It was bad enough to see the movie the first time. Even worse that it turned out to be a horror flick a day later.

Mirroring the script of Saturday's shocking near-defeat at Thompson Rivers University, the MacEwan Griffins found themselves trailing at the half after conceding a goal against the run of play.

But, while they were able to come back and escape from the upset on Saturday, they couldn't on Sunday, falling 1-0 to the UBC-Okanagan Heat, despite dominating the contest in every other statistic.

"We had 14 attempts on goal and a ton of pressure in the second half," said MacEwan head coach Dean Cordeiro. "The field was tilted much like in the previous match. But the difference today was we weren't able to prevail.

"We came close a couple of times, but we couldn't find the right formula today. Full credit goes to UBCO and it's back to the drawing board for us."

The result is a shocking upset win for a non-playoff team a year ago against a squad that came a game short of qualifying for nationals. But it's not unprecedented. One of the Heat's two wins in 2017 came on the final weekend of the season over the Griffins, also by a 1-0 score.

The Heat were outplayed on Sunday, managing just two shots attempts in the entire contest. The one that counted came in extra time before the first half ended and Kylee Walker buried it past goalkeeper Emily Burns.

"The first time they come down field, first shot on net and it's a goal," lamented Cordeiro. "Just kind of a broken play. We gave a player a little bit of separation and the player, credit her, finds the back of the net.

"It was one of their two registered shot attempts in the match. The other one was a bit of a dribbler back to Burns, so literally they scored on their only attempt."

That's a heartbreaking fact of life for the Griffins who had 14 shot attempts and eight on goal but couldn't beat either of UBCO's keepers – Iona Lawson or Emma Terrillon – who split the game. MacEwan also dominated on corners (8-1).

Now, the Griffins (1-1-0) will put it behind them as they head into their home opener on Friday against Saskatchewan (6 p.m., Clarke Stadium).

"We're a little disappointed with the split, for sure, but all in all from a road trip to come back with three points, we'll take that and we'll reset and refocus for our home opener here against Sask on Friday," said Cordeiro.

FREE KICKS … Brittany Costa was named the Griffins' player of the game on Sunday after two shots and one on goal in 90 minutes … MacEwan will also host Regina next weekend (Sunday, Sept. 16, 12 p.m., Clarke Stadium).