Let the Duckworth Challenge begin

Manitoba takes on Winnipeg in annual rivalry series

Bisons goalkeeper Madison Wilford recorded back-to-back shutouts against the Wesmen

The 2-4-2 U of M Bisons women’s soccer team enters October with a big-ticket series. The herd will play its part in the annual Duckworth Challenge this weekend against the 0-4-4 Winnipeg Wesmen.

Manitoba will look to snap a three-game losing streak that started at home with a 1-0 loss to the Calgary Dinos back on Sep. 3. The Wesmen are still in search of the first victory of the season.

Despite a winless record, the Wesmen boast Canada West’s leading scorer in Shae-Lynn Dodds. Her seven goals represent 70 per cent of Winnipeg’s overall offence this season.

Winnipeg also has the busiest goalkeeper in Madison Fordyce, who leads the conference with 55 saves. She sits eleventh in the conference with a .733  save percentage.

This shows that although she is a skilled goaltender, she is a dam working to hold back a flood of offensive chances.

For Manitoba to get back on the winning track, they will need to shut down Dodds, and overwhelm Fordyce and the Wesmen defenders with their spread-out offence.

The herd equals the Wesmen in offensive output with 10 goals on the season. However, six different Bisons have scored this year compared to only three Wesmen.

Strong play by top scorer Nicole Davis, as well as Bison Sports athlete of the week Alanna Shaw, will be important to Manitoba’s success. At the other end of the field, Madison Wilford will have to be sharp while facing Dodds this weekend.

Game one of the weekend series is at 7 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Oct. 4, at the Ralph Cantafio Soccer Complex. Game two will be played at IGF on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. CDT.