By RYAN MCCRACKEN on September 9, 2019.
The Medicine Hat Rattlers women’s soccer team weathered a storm and came out on top on Sunday afternoon at the Snake Pit.
Jadyn Fode converted on a penalty kick in the 81st minute to lift the Rattlers to a 1-0 victory over the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings, but head coach Robert Cavicchia says the result was only made possible through a dedicated performance on the defensive side of the ball.
“They were all tired, they all put in 100 per cent effort and you can’t ask for much more,” said Cavicchia, whose Rattlers opened the season with a 4-0 loss to the Red Deer Queens Saturday. “You could tell the girls were hurting from (Saturday) still, it was a tough one.”
After spending the majority of the second half pinned into their own end, the Rattlers made a late push upfield and managed to draw a penalty kick on the ensuing rush. Fode stepped up and delivered, driving a low shot past the outstretched glove of Augustana keeper Cassidy Newcombe and into the left side of the net.
“I have chills thinking about it,” said Fode, who will captain the team this season. “I just love being a support and I love the girls that support me. I want to be able to lead us in a positive direction this season.”
Fode was forced to shift her focus to defence for the final 10 minutes of the game when defender April Dart pulled up with an injury, but Fode still managed to drive the momentum and keep the Vikings on their heels.
“We thought that Jadyn would be the best person to fill that role for the rest of the match and play it out for us and it worked out,” said Cavicchia. “She’s like the engine of the team. She works really hard and she keeps all the other girls fired up.”
Cavicchia added the victory was a testament to the culture they are trying to build with the college’s athletic program
” They’re all hard workers, nobody gives up ever,” he said. “If someone is dropping their head a bit or getting tired, the girls are pushing them. We’re working through it. I think that speaks highly of their character.”
While the victory came on the heels of a painful season-opening loss at home, Cavicchia says the lopsided score wasn’t indicative of the team’s performance.
“I thought we were in that game for the majority of it,” he said. “We pressed really high, did really well. I don’t think 4-0 was justified. I thought we could have had a couple goals and their goalie made some great saves.”
Rattlers goalkeeper Dakota Adby made nine saves to lock up Sunday’s win, while Amanda Oevering stopped five in Saturday’s loss.
Over on the men’s side, the Rattlers kicked off their season at 1-0-1 by following up Saturday’s scoreless draw against the Red Deer Kings with a 9-0 drubbing of Augustana Sunday.
Abdou Raouf Mohamed led the way with five goals in the victory, while Colton Pacheco added another four.
Ismeael Munoz Vasquez and Julian Sanchez both had two assists, while Sloan Dykema, Bismarck Gonzalez and Joao Noble added had one.
Rattlers goalkeeper Joao Vitor Duz Batista stopped three shots Sunday and six Saturday.
Cavicchia said prior to Sunday’s win that he wanted to see a bit more finish from his players.
“I think we’ve got to do a better job on the attack. I think we did create some chances and we need to just bury them,” he said, adding the defence did well to hold on against a tough team like Red Deer Saturday. “Our numbers aren’t the highest on the men’s side, so they just fought through it and defended really well.”
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