OAKVILLE, Ont. - Playing on their home turf for the first time after opening the season with a three-game road trip, the Sheridan Bruins women's soccer team (4-0-0) didn't quite have their A-game, but still did enough to claim a 4-2 victory over George Brown.
"The game shows that when you don't put your chances away in the first half, they always come back to haunt you in the second half because the other team will always pounce on your mistakes," head coach Paul Angelini said. "We made two egregious ones and they scored two goals, but we kept fighting and that's the lesson in this. It's a 90-minute game, you play the full 90 minutes and never give up."
Zoe Derkach opened the scoring in the 19th minute, dumping her own rebound into an open net after George Brown's Melanie Retz came off her line to break up a Sheridan attack near the top of the box.
Despite some opportunities to add on, the Bruins looked to still cling to a 1-0 lead at the interval, but Hailey Dugal scored a 42nd minute equalizer for the visitors to make it a 1-1 stalemate at halftime.
The game followed a similar narrative in the second half, with Derkach beating a pair of defenders and, although unable to chip it over the oncoming Retz, the ball took a Sheridan bounce towards the gaping George Brown goal where Derkach was able to slide in for the final touch from two yards away.
It looked as though the Huskies would be able to escape with a point after Brianna Samuels-McLaughlin's 79th minute leveller, but Caitlin McLaughlin put the Double Blue back on top for good just three minutes later, making no mistake when the ball fell to her feet inside the six.
Derkach put the final exclamation point on the victory by finishing off her hat trick, nodding home the backpost free kick delivery from Jessica D'Aguilar.
The Bruins will play the road leg of the Region of Peel derby when they travel to UTM on Sept. 25, and Angelini knows exactly where the team needs to make adjustments before they do.
"We need to work on structure and defensive movement," he said. "We're not moving as a unit, we're moving individually, and that never works."