No more zeros. Only heroes.
After two shutout losses, the Yukon women’s soccer team got on the scoreboard at the Canada Summer Games on Tuesday.
Three minutes into the second half of a match against New Brunswick, Yukon midfielder Megan Lanigan put one on the board with a shot Pele would have applauded.
Thirty-plus yards out on a free kick, Lanigan tucked the ball just under the crossbar with surgical precision to make it 4-1.
New Brunswick went on to take the match 12-1, but the Yukon squad is happy with the achievement. They’ve been pleased with the tournament in the face of an 8-0 loss to Team Alberta on Saturday and a 17-0 loss to Nova Scotia on Sunday, said Yukon head coach Charly Kelly.
“It’s hard to look at a score and know what happened,” said Kelly. “When you look at the score today, it looks like we didn’t play well. Well, in fact, we played a 45(-minute) half that was amazing.
“Going into the second, the score got higher and higher, and it was the same with the Alberta game. For us to be playing amazing halfs is great. That’s part of our goal.
“This is not deflating … The girls are in great spirits, we’ve been achieving a lot of our goals.”
Lanigan’s direct free kick resulted from a foul on fellow midfielder Camile Galloway. The goal sent Yukon fans into a frenzy and quieted the chants of “Nouveau! Brunswick!” … At least for a bit.
Yukon kept Alberta to one goal for the majority of the first half on Saturday. Weaker second halves have plagued the team beyond the Canada Games. They had similar problems with the latter-45 at the USA Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament last month.
Conditioning? “It’s a little bit that,” said Kelly. “Everyone is just that much more tired.”
Injuries have been an issue as well. The team is missing strong players – if not all the time, some of the time.
“We’ve just been unlucky with injuries,” said Kelly. “We haven’t been able to play Morgan (Paul) much. We played her today and she was a huge asset until her foot started to hurt again. Caroline (Miller) was dropped there at the end. Those are two of our strong defenders.”
Starting goalie Samantha Burgis is temporarily out of commission with a knee injury sustained late in Yukon’s opening match against Team Alberta on Saturday.
Outside midfielder Anna Janowicz has filled in for Burgis the last two matches.
Her improvement from Sunday to Tuesday was noticeable. She made numerous big saves – diving saves – against Nouveau Brunswick.
“We did a little session with her last night and she’s just come up tons … doing those diving saves, positioning in the net, when to come out, when to stay back,” said Kelly. “And yeah, a hundred per cent improvement.”
Team Yukon has one more to go. They will square off with Team Prince Edward Island for a shot at 10th on Thursday.
Contact Tom Patrick at