CALGARY, AB - The second National Semifinal of the 2019 United Women's Soccer (UWS) Championship saw a different style and pace than the first match of the day, as Calgary Foothills WFC (7-1-1) and Lancaster Inferno (9-4-0) battled it out for every inch of the pitch. While the two-week layoff from competition seemed to affect Calgary for the first two-thirds of the match, the UWS West Conference champions rose to the occasion and tallied two second half goals in a 2-0 victory over the UWS East Conference champions. Forward Tanya Boychuk scored her team-leading ninth goal of the season while forward Alex Lamontagne added the insurance goal on a brilliant individual effort. Both goalkeepers had to rise to the occasion for their teams in this match, as Emily Burns made six saves for the hosts while Lancaster's Kelly O'Brien made four stops for the Inferno. Click HERE for the full MyCujoo broadcast of this match. Tune into the official UWS MyCujoo channel for tomorrow's 2019 National Final (5:00 PM MDT) pitting Calgary against familiar competition in LA Galaxy OC (7-1-2). LA defeated Indiana by a 5-1 score earlier in the day.
"We recovered from a poor first half and found our legs from the week off," said Foothills WFC Head Coach Troye Flannery. "We started to gain territory and eventually, we scored the required goal. Lancaster is a very good team but we got the job done. Now, we renew rivalries with the Galaxy in short order."
"Going into this match we wanted to score in the first half and take advantage of the the fact Calgary has been off a couple of weeks," said Lancaster Head Coach Francisco Cleaves. "We had our chances but their goalkeeper made some really good saves. We didn't finish like we wanted to but the women fought hard and I'm really proud of this team."
Both teams traded scoring chances early in the match. Inferno midfielder Teresa Rook forced Burns into an awkward stop just six minutes in while Boychuk mishit her scoring chance in the 14th minute. O'Brien made a nice save on a Lamontagne opportunity in the 20th minute but after that, Lancaster started to gradually impose their will. Rook became a vital cog in the Lancaster offense as she took all her team's set pieces and tested Burns on a number of occasions. In the 34th minute, the veteran keeper had to tip defender Adalee Broadbent's header over the bar from a dipping free kick by Rook. Forward Kay Liebl almost put the Inferno up 1-0 right in the 41st minute, but her shot went just wide. Luckily for Calgary, the game remained scoreless as it went into halftime. As the second half wore on, Foothills WFC worked themselves back into the flow of the game and their effort bore fruit in the 62nd minute.
Calgary midfielder Sarah Kinzner won the ball in the center circle and turned towards goal. She struck a deft ball with the outside of her right foot that found Boychuk in her stride. The Canadian U-20 Women's National Team member broke towards goal and her shot was saved by O'Brien. The rebound went right back to her, though, and she hammered the ball home for the eventual game winning goal. That perked up the spirits of Foothills WFC even more and they took control of the match. In the 74th minute, Lamontagne had a give-and-go with Kinzner on the left flank and than drove towards goal. The Canadian international held the ball and dribbled to the top of the box where she fired her shot inside the far post for the 2-0 lead. Lancaster did not drop their heads and just two minutes later, forward Ryelle Shuey forced Burns to tip her scoring chance over the cross bar. In the 80th minute, Burns gave the Inferno a half-chance after she fumbled the ball but forward Haley Crawford's shot went wide of the goal.