The quadrennial Canada Summer Games is a bad time to lose a goalkeeper to injury, especially when she’s the only experienced one a team has.
The national Games is also a bad time to learn how to play in net.
That’s what the Yukon women’s soccer team is going through just two days into the Games this week in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
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.
“It’s not a huge injury, so we’re hoping she’ll be back,” said Yukon head coach Charly Kelly. “She’s walking, things are feeling better, she’s got physio that is great – the care here is awesome – twice a day. So we’re hoping to have her play in our next game.”
Late in Yukon’s 8-0 loss to Team Alberta on Saturday in the tournament opener, Burgis jumped up for a save, came down awkwardly and felt a “pop” in her knee. She was on the sideline for Sunday’s 17-0 loss to Nova Scotia using a crutch to walk.
Outside midfielder Anna Janowicz filled in for Burgis in the blowout.
“Anna stepped in, which is great,” said Kelly. “We assigned her as our backup goalie, but I never really had a chance to work with Anna in that position. However, she played well.”
Yukon was looking good early on in the match against Alberta, which took fourth in the 2009 Canada Games. The territory kept Alberta to one goal for the vast majority of the first half before three quick goals in the final minutes leading up to the double-whistle, finishing the half down 4-0.
Against Nova Scotia, a team that finished fifth at the last Canada Games, the goals came in at a more consistent rate.
“We’re happy we got these two games out of the way,” said Kelly. “My mindset coming out was: let’s a have a strong game of defence. With Anna being new to net, let’s just try to decrease the number of shots.
“(Nova Scotia) came out strong. They have a couple national training centre players and they definitely wanted to score – get their win, their goals in.”
Yukon will begin the placement rounds with a match against Team New Brunswick on Tuesday.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org