Try as they might the host University of Manitoba Bisons couldn't pull off an upset Thursday at the Canadian university women's soccer championship.
After a gutsy first half, the seventh-seeded Bisons simply ran out of steam, eventually falling 4-0 to the No. 2-seeded Trinity Western Spartans in a quarter-final match at Subway Soccer South on the U of M campus.
Deadlocked 0-0 after the first half, the Bisons surrendered four quick goals in about a 20-minute span in the second.
"They are lethal," said U of M head coach Vanessa Martinez Lagunas. "It's always about getting that first goal. They went ahead and we had to risk a little bit. They got some chances and put them in. At this level, you blink and things can change."
While top-seeded Laval Rouge et Or and third-seeded Guelph tumbled in early games, Trinity Western held firm to advance to play the Montreal Carabins in a championship semifinal at 4 p.m. Saturday.
The eighth-seeded Western Mustangs face the fourth-seeded Cape Breton Capers in the other semifinal at 1 p.m.
Manitoba dropped to the consolation side and meets the Guelph Gryphons today at 4 p.m.
"We were competing with them in the first half. We had some scoring chances and played really hard," said Manitoba midfielder Hailey Lavarias. "(The Spartans) came out hard in the second half and got that first goal and got the momentum and just get going and going.
The Langley, B.C.-based Spartans cranked it up in the second half and generated a number of early chances. Finally, midfielder Rachel Hutchinson beat Bisons’ keeper Justina Jarmoszko with a wicked boot in the 56th minute of play.
The Spartans struck again in the 68th minute on defender Kathleen Chin’s tremendous header, just seconds after a teammate blasted a drive off the post.
That signalled the raising of the flood gates. Jenaya Robertson scored in the 74th minute and Hutchinson ripped her second of the night just more than a minute later.
"We came in as the underdogs and really had nothing to lose against them," said Lavarias. "We have to keep working hard because we have a big game on the other side now."
The Mustangs pulled off a major upset with a 1-0 victory over the defending-champion Laval Rouge et Or. Kendra Marlatt from Pickering, Ont., fired the only goal of the game in the 84th minute.
Laval has won two of the past three Canadian titles.
The Montreal Carabins, seeded sixth, needed extra time to shock the third-seeded Guelph Gryphons 1-0, while Cape Breton downed the fifth-seeded Victoria Vikes 2-1.
The Canadian university final is set for Sunday at 3 p.m.
Assistant sports editor
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).