“It was a good day! I joked prior that I was waiting for it to be over because of all the bells and whistles that we have to do in advance of our inaugural game in the United Women’s Soccer League but I’m super proud of the team behind the team first and foremost. I thought we put on a heck of an event today.”
Yes sir Impact FC UWS Head Coach and General Manager Troye Flannery, that was one heck of an event last night as soccer fans watched the home team collect a 1-0 win.
The game was barely three minutes old when the first ooh’s and aah’s were elicited from the crowd courtesy of Bryana Buttar’s fancy footwork. The first glorious scoring opportunity for the Impact came off the foot of Sheena Tracey.
Tracey’s next scoring opportunity earned her the first assist in Club history. Her shot bounced off of the crossbar and went directly to Buttar who made no mistake with the rebound and scored the Club’s first ever goal 38 minutes into franchise history.
“It feels amazing to score the Club’s first goal. In that moment, I’d never been so calm in my life. I remember the ball coming off the crossbar, took my time to address my shot and I don’t think there’s ever been a better feeling of focus without distractions. I’m so excited for this team today and for the future.” Bryana Buttar
Headed into the locker room at the first half, possession of the ball was dominated by the Impact. Forward Tanya Boychuk’s bulldog mentality was fantastic to watch. Always on the attack but never getting caught out of position. Defender Sarah Engen was spot on with each and every one of her downfield volleys. Goalkeeper Emily Burns only had to make one save.
The mood changed in the second half as Foothills FC, 2018 & 2019 Western Conference Champions, took over the edge in the play.
“Lee Tucker and Katie Collar are great coaches and great people doing great things down there I Calgary. Their Club will be forever class. They turned it right up after half but I thought we bent a couple times. You can say we broke a couple times as well but Emily Burns made 3 maybe 4 highlight reel saves. She’s absolutely a class super humble kid who just got back from Spain where she played professionally.” Troye Flannery
The score sheet will tell you that Burns made 7 saves in the second half. What the sheet won’t tell you is two of those saves were legitimate “save of the year” candidates. In the the 79th minute she dove across the net to deflect the ball wide of the net all the while having the wherewithal to be in position to make another save on a low shot moments later. She outdid herself in the 93rd minute (stoppage time added six minutes). With the flow of her body going one way she somehow reached cross body to punch the targeted top corner shot over the net.
“Super proud of the team today. Super proud to be part of this first opportunity with the Club and our 1st season in this league. Really proud of my team. I think I came up big a couple times, the 1st half on a breakaway was an important save and then again in the 2nd half during added time. The team in front of me played amazing and I’m super super proud of them.” Emily Burns
The tenacity of Forward OIivia Chu all over the field impressed me. In the 68th minute with Foothills FC pressuring after a yellow card on the Impact, she bounced off two or three attackers to get to the ball and clear the pressure. Defender Kennedy Gray, a sub in the 65th minute, was fantastically consistent in moving the ball up field for the Impact.
“The game and win is bittersweet for me as I was there for 13 years. I don’t think we could come out any better than we did in game one of an inaugural season. We did a lot of really good things and rewarded with a couple good looks and I think overall going into halftime we made a couple of adjustments shape wise to counter some things that they were starting to do near the end of the half.
Right Back Sarah Engen and Centre Back usually midfield Kayla Mostowich were very good. Tanya Boychuk and Sheena Tracey were dangerous forwards.” Troye Flannery
The rematch between the Impact FC and Foothills FC takes place this Sunday in Calgary. The game is being streamed through CFN Media.
Next home action, and final home games of this abbreviated regular season, will be next Friday and Saturday, July 9th and 10th. For tickets, click HERE! To stay up-to-date with the Club follow them on Twitter.