Hurricanes celebrate Jeanine Redstone's game-winning goal against Synergy Wednesday, July 4 in Winkler. (THOMAS FRIESEN, Winkler Times)
For a moment, the South Central Hurricanes thought they’d have their easiest win of the year against the toughest opponent.
The Hurricanes were minutes away from a forfeit victory. Only six of the required minimum eight Synergy players were on the pitch for the 7:30 p.m. start Wednesday, July 4 in Winkler.
Three more showed up, and the Hurricanes were forced to win the hard way.
They did, 2-1, and move within three points of first in the Winnipeg Women’s Soccer League second division.
“It was hard to stay focused before the game because we didn’t know if we were going to play,” said Hurricanes striker Jeanine Redstone.
After Redstone narrowly missed the net on a breakaway at the half-hour mark, Synergy responded with a blast from close range past keeper Lauren Craig to open the scoring.
Redstone said the Hurricanes did not change their style of play after the goal.
“We kept trying to play our game and keep possession of the ball,” she said. “We knew it would come.”
Less than 10 minutes after going down, Lauren Hildebrandt collected a through ball and swiftly dribbled past the keeper 40 yards from goal, calmly carried it toward goal buried the equalizer.
After seeing a second breakaway robbed by the goalkeeper, Redstone finally made her breakthrough just after the break. She took a pass from Hildebrandt and made no mistake, netting the eventual game winner.
“I was getting pretty frustrated, because those first two should have for sure been in,” said Redstone. “It was nice to finally get that one.”
The win puts the Hurricanes it a great spot at the midpoint in the season. First place in the division will advance to the first division at the end of the season. This win definitely helps.
“We are finally starting to come together as a team,” said Redstone.