It was a cold evening in Saskatoon on Saturday, May 13th, but the action on the field was red hot as the Regina Riot took on the defending WWCFL champion Saskatoon Valkyries. It was the first of two meetings this season between the rivals, a series that could decide home-field advantage in the WWCFL playoffs.
It was a tightly contested game throughout, but in the end Regina came home with a 16-0 shut out victory. It was the first time in league history that the Saskatoon Valkyries finished a game without scoring a single point. It was the second straight shut out that Regina has recorded this season.
“The defense focuses on playing with confidence and being well prepared,” said Riot defensive coordinator Morgan Bunce. “The players made big plays when it counted most. The effort on and off the field this past week really shows the player’s dedication to the team.”
Head Coach Olivier Eddie gave some perspective on the Riot’s offensive performance, noting that the team gained over 400 yards on that side of the ball. “You expect to produce more than 16 points when you do that,” said Eddie. “We made a couple of crucial mistakes in the red zone that allowed them to stay in the game. We have to do a better job of capitalizing and taking the pressure off of our defense.”
With the victory, the Riot have taken a 4-2 series lead over their last 6 matchups with the Valkyries, further solidifying the Riot’s entry into the elite of Canadian women’s tackle football. The rematch takes place next week in Regina, but home field advantage provides no guarantees.
“Neither Saskatoon nor Regina has swept the home and home series since 2014” said Coach Eddie after the game. “That’s how evenly matched these two teams are.”
When asked what the key is to changing that trend, the head coach emphasized avoiding complacency. Bunce added, “We know each week will be a greater test than the week before. We’ll adjust our game plan to correct any issues and continue to work on building our fundamental techniques.”
The rematch takes places on Sunday, May 21st at Historic Mosaic Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30pm. It is the Riot’s 3rd Annual Teal Game, in support of the Ovarian Cancer Society. Tickets are available online at the Regina Riot website.