Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Valkyries quickly find some balance on offence

Saskatoon gears up for clash with archrival Regina Riot

Alex Eyolfson warms up for the Valkyries.
    The Saskatoon Valkyries appear to have quickly found some offensive balance, and it has the potential to serve them well in what is slated to be a lightning fast Western Women’s Canadian Football League season.
    On Sunday, the Valkyries opened their regular season dumping the Winnipeg Wolfpack 47-6 at Saskatoon Minor Football Field. Unlike their 56-6 exhibition victory over the Edmonton Storm on April 29 at SMF Field, the Valkyries were able to get a little even production between passing and rushing yardage against Winnipeg than they did against Edmonton.
    During the exhibition win over the Storm, the Valkyries, who are the defending WWCFL champions, piled up 308 yards on the ground and only 76 yards through the air. Sophomore starter Alex Eyolfson and rookie Cori Thorstad combined to connect on 6-of-23 passes in that contest.
    The bumps in the passing game had to be somewhat expected due the fact Thorstad is a rookie, and the Valkyries have a number of new receivers.
    In the win over the Wolfpack on Sunday, the Valkyries piled up 266 yards on the ground, but they also piled up 149 yards thought the air. Overall, the passing game was more fluid.
    Eyolfson connected on 5-of-7 attempts for 79 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Thorstad also hit on 5-of-7 attempts for 70 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
Samantha Matheson zips downfield for the Valkyries.
    Saskatoon had five different players catch at least two passes in Carly Dyck, Nadia Doucoure, Alyssa Wiebe, Kelsey Murphy and Samantha Matheson. Dyck topped all receivers with 41 yards and scored one touchdown.
    Matheson, who is a running back, made both of her catches coming out of the backfield piling up 39 yards and scoring one major. She also ran the ball four times for 30 yard and scored a touchdown along the ground.
    The bulk of Saskatoon’s rushing yards were put up by all-purpose star tailback Julene Friesen, who ran the ball 10 times for 185 yards and scored two majors. Thorstad had the Valkyries other major along the ground.
    Dyck recorded three singles with two coming off kickoffs and one off a punt. Saskatoon received two points from a safety to round out its scoring.
    Quarterback Rebecka Clark accounted for all the Wolfpack’s points on a rushing major. Winnipeg was collected 124 yards along the ground and 85 yards through the air.
    Defensively, the Valkyries received contributions from everyone on their roster. Denise Kolosky and Devyn Peters each had three solo tackles for Saskatoon.
    Still, the best sight from Sunday’s win was the fact the Valkyries had good success though the air due to the fact their next two encounters are with their archrivals the Regina Riot. The more balance the Valkyries can have offensively it will increase their chances of having better success against the Riot.
    The two teams face each other on Saturday at 7 p.m. at SMF Field. This will also be the Valkyries “Teal Game,” and they will be doing some fundraising for Ovarian Cancer Canada.
Alex Eyolfson (#15) calls a play in the huddle for the Valkyries.
    The Valkyries and Riot will go at it again on Sunday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. at old Mosaic Stadium in Regina. The two encounters will play a huge part in determining the final standings in the Prairie Conference in the short four-game regular season.
    The Riot blanked the Manitoba Fearless 41-0 in their regular season opener on Sunday in Regina. Veteran running backs Mallory Starkey and Carmen Agar had big outings in that contest. Starkey carried the ball 13 times for 106 yards, while Agar ran the ball 12 times for 81 yards and scored one rushing touchdown.
    The Valkyries and Riot split their two regular season encounters before meeting in the Prairie Conference final. Saskatoon claimed last year’s Prairie Conference final 29-14 at SMF Field.

Back in the Express with Dyck

An article on Carly Dyck in the pages of the Saskatoon Express.
    I was back in the pages of the Saskatoon Express this week with a feature story on veteran Valkyries receiver Carly Dyck.
    Dyck is playing in her sixth WWCFL season. She spent three campaigns with her hometown Lethbridge Steel and is now in her third season with the Valkyries. She joined the Valkyries after settling down in Saskatoon.
    In the piece, Dyck talks about her experience at the Women’s World Football Games in January. She reflected on last season and her hopes for this season. She will play for Canada as a receiver and likely a kicker at the International Federation of American Football Women’s World Championship, which runs June 24 to 30 in Langley, B.C.
    Dyck wanted to ensure she learned all of the U.S. football rules at the Women’s World Football Games in order to be prepared for Women’s World Championship in Langley.
Carly Dyck, middle, powers downfield for the Valkyries.
    “I wanted to be able to focus on myself,” said Dyck, who originally moved to Saskatoon to attend the University of Saskatchewan. “That is kind of what I have been doing all year is working on me, working on my skills and working on my attitude just so that I’m ready for worlds.
    “That is pretty much all I have been doing lately is doing anything to be ready for worlds.”
    My Express story on Dyck can be found by clicking right here.

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