Friday, 3 July 2015

Valkyries 2015 Season

With a 31-29 loss to the Regina Riot on Sunday, June 28 in the WWCFL Prairie Conference Final, the Saskatoon Valkyries were eliminated from the 2015 WWCFL playoffs. It's the first time since the league and the team's inception in 2011, that the Valkyries have not made it to the WWCFL Final. That being said, the Valkyries are looking at the loss as a chance to learn and to grow for the future. Thanks to all of our sponsors for supporting us, our volunteers for making our lives much easier, and to our fans for cheering us on! We look forward to seeing you for the 2016 WWCFL season when we fight to make it back to the championship!

Keep an eye on our website, Facebook page, and Twitter account for a camp in the fall!

Valkyries in the news

Riot vanquish the Valkyries
By Greg Harder for Leader-Post, June 29, 2015

The Western Women's Canadian Football League will have a new champion in 2015, courtesy of the Regina Riot.

Regina made history on Sunday with a 31-29 win over the Saskatoon Valkyries in the Prairie Conference final at Mosaic Stadium, dashing Saskatoon's hopes for a fifth consecutive league championship.

It was also the fifth year in a row that Saskatoon and Regina met in the conference final. The Valkyries prevailed in the first four, going on to win every league title since the WWCFL was launched in 2011.

That streak ended Sunday when the Riot earned a berth in the championship game against the Edmonton Storm (Saturday at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg).

Regina Riot receiver Amanda Hungle is pursued by Saskatoon
Valkyries defensive back Amber Buchholz.
Photograph By: Michael Bell, Leader-Post
"It's an amazing opportunity," said Riot receiver Amanda Hungle, who hauled in a 41-yard touchdown pass. "Our goal has always been the championship. We have one more rung in the ladder, one more step, so we'll just start preparing for that."

Although the Valkyries entered Sunday's game as four-time defending champions, Regina had momentum on its side thanks to a 49-9 victory in Saskatoon on May 30. It was only the second loss in Valkyries' history, the other coming at the hands of the Riot in 2013.

However, neither of those defeats hurt quite like Sunday's playoff elimination. Saskatoon fought back from a 22-7 fourth-quarter deficit, taking its first lead (29-28) with 1:26 on the clock thanks to Samantha Matheson's 25-yard TD run.

After the ensuing kickoff, Regina scrimmaged from its own 44-yard line and marched down the field, setting up a potential game-winning field goal by Morgan Turner. Her 13-yard attempt split the uprights, propelling the Riot to victory.

"It sucks to end the year that way," said Valkyries quarterback Stacey Boldt. "Our team has huge heart. We battled. We haven't really been down in our entire existence in the league. To come back down by that much was awesome to see."

Matheson rushed 14 times for 159 yards and four majors, almost single-handedly leading the Valkyries' comeback.

But the Riot didn't panic.

"Our coaches have been fantastic this year," noted Hungle. "We've been prepared since the beginning of the season. When it came down to a situation like this, we knew exactly what to do.

"We wouldn't have it any other way, a nice close battle and a really good strong team win."

The Riot needed every point it could scrape together, including three field goals, four safeties and two majors (by Hungle and Sami Bray). Quarterback Aimee Kowalski led the charge, completing 19 of 30 passes for 204 yards and rushing 11 times for a team-high 84 yards.

Turner added the finishing touch with some lastsecond heroics.

"I've never felt anything as exciting as this," said Turner, who admitted her heart was ready to pop out of her chest before the game-winning kick. "That was a pretty intense feeling. My team has been helping me, heckling me at every practice for situations like that. As I was running on, they were telling me, 'This is what it comes down to, this is why we did all of that to you in practice every week.'

"I guess it worked."

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Valkyries in the news

Valkyries bounce back with blowout
Don Rice for The StarPhoenix, June 22, 2015

After their largest defeat in franchise history last month, the Saskatoon Valkyries regrouped in a big way for their first playoff game on Sunday.

The Valkyries handed the visiting Winnipeg Wolfpack a 66-7 blowout loss in Western Women’s Canadian Football League Prairie Conference semifinal action at Saskatoon Minor Football Field. The four-time defending league champion Valkyries had been licking their wounds since losing 49-9 to the Regina Riot on May 30. Now they will get a rematch against the Riot in the Prairie Conference final in Regina on Sunday.

“We were hoping to (dominate the game),” said Valkyries receiver Marci Kiselyk. “We’ve been feeling a little out of sorts the last month or so. We were really hoping to have a really dominant win and sort of reassert who we are. It’s important to have that sense of identity. We were a little lacking in ours and we saw it out there today.”

The Valkyries’ quick-strike offence was most evident early on. They scored five touchdowns on their first nine offensive plays. Kiselyk started it off on the very first Valkyrie play on offence, hauling in a Stacey Boldt pass and dodging numerous tackles on her way to a 61-yard touchdown.

On the next Valkyrie offensive play, Julene Friesen turned a corner and tiptoed down the sidelines for a 74-yard touchdown run. Two more Valkyrie plays later and Carly Dyck was hauling in Boldt’s second TD toss, a 48-yarder. Friesen capped off the first quarter scoring with an electric 96-yard touchdown run and a 28-0 lead.

Kiselyk, Dyck each added their second TDs of the game while Friesen added her third in the second quarter: Kiselyk on a 35-yard pass, Dyck on a 77-yard reception and Friesen on a 76-yard run. Kelsey Murphy also scored on a 27-yard run for the Valkyries who were up 56-0 at halftime.

Rienna Rueve added a fourth-quarter 22-yard field goal, as well as converting all nine Valkyries touchdowns. Sam Matheson closed out the Valkyrie scoring with a 26-yard touchdown run. Char Mash-Hadlow finally put the Wolfpack on the board in the fourth, hauling in a 14-yard touchdown pass from Amy Mohr.

Saskatoon Valkyries head coach Jeff Yausie said the blowout to Regina was a turning point for his squad.

“After that big loss to Regina we changed a lot of things with our team and how we practise,” Yausie said. “We have had about 30 new players over the last two years (on their current 46 player roster). So we felt that we needed more practice time to work on fundamentals and work on some new systems that we changed. That was a reaction to how we were playing in the middle of the season.”

The Riot defeated the Manitoba Fearless 73-0 in the other Prairie Conference semifinal on Sunday. The final between the Valkyries and Riot goes on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Mosaic Stadium in Regina. The winner will move on to the WWCFL championship game on July 5 in Winnipeg.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Valkyries Playoff Update

The Saskatoon Valkyries concluded their regular season with a 36-15 victory over the Manitoba Fearless on Sunday, June 7 in Winnipeg. With the win, the Valkyries finish the regular season in second place with a 3-1 record, and will host the Winnipeg Wolfpack on June 21 at SMF Field (Time to be determined).

The Valkyries would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers, and fans who supported us during the regular season. We wouldn't be successful on the field without all of you helping us out off the field!

Valkyries in the news

Valkyries look to make amends
By: Daniel Nugent-Bowman for The StarPhoenix, June 6, 2015

The Saskatoon Valkyries have finished licking their wounds after last weekend's shocking 49-9 loss to the Regina Riot.

However, it did take longer than usual to put the game behind them.

Valkyries look to make amends
Saskatoon Valkyries defensive lineman Lauren Bourdon
tackles Regina Riot receiver Rachelle Smith in WWCFL
action on May 30th.
Photo by: Liam Richards, The StarPhoenix
"Typically we do that right away," Valkyries general manager and trainer Michelle Duchene said. "But this week I would say we needed to look at what we did and what happened.

"But pretty quickly we have to turn that off and forget about it. Probably within a couple days we did that."

The Valkyries (2-1) wrap up their Western Women's Canadian Football League schedule Sunday with a road matchup against the Manitoba Fearless (0-3).

They are looking to rebound from their first home loss in team history - a span of 19 games.

It was an ugly one at that. And it was to their provincial rivals.

"We knew that they are a very athletic team and that they're strong," Duchene said. "They've got a whole new coaching staff and it felt like they were rebuilding this year in a forward way. We anticipated we were going to have really good games against Regina and that's what we got.

"We never would have anticipated that we would lose by 40 points. That's definitely

not something that we wanted to do, but it makes us work harder not only on the field but in preparation."

As Duchene notes, the loss - only their second ever - provides a "reality check" heading into the post-season.

The WWCFL playoffs start following a leaguewide bye next weekend.

The Valkyries may have ceded the top seed to the Riot (2-1), who hold the tiebreaker in the four-team Prairie Conference. Regina plays the Winnipeg Wolfpack (2-1) in its regular season finale. A win secures first place.

So if Saskatoon and Regina are to meet in the Prairie final for the fifth straight time, the four-time defending league-champion Valkyries would likely be the road team.

That was the case two years ago as well. Regina secured home-field advantage in 2013 by handing the Valkyries their only other WWCFL loss.

"Honestly, it makes it more exciting," Duchene said. "Hopefully we're going to be playing in the conference final against Regina again.

"I think everybody's really excited about the possibility that that's going to happen. It will make us work a lot harder."