Blaze blanked in finale 0
The Portage Blaze finished their campaign with a 2-0 loss to Maniko in Winnipeg on Monday. (File photo)
The Portage Blaze had a history of ending the season with a positive.
That undefeated run came to an end Monday night as Portage fell 2-0 to Maniko in the Winnipeg Women's Soccer League's fifth-place game.
Portage started the game with just 11 players, and was down to nine by the end due to injury.
Head coach Bryan Mintenko said the team was done in, in part, by its small bench.
"We gave up one goal in the first half and one midway through the second half," said Mintenko. "A couple people had to leave the game with injuries. We were pretty beat-up tonight and it was a lot of running for everyone with no subs.
"Eventually the fatigue was a factor and some people had to leave with some nagging injuries."
Both the Blaze and Maniko were playing out the string, as there were no prizes awarded to the winner for the result. Mintenko felt that the team actually had more gusto at last week's 1-0 exhibition win over Red River College.
"I don't think we were too motivated for this one," said Mintenko. "I think our team was actually more motivated in the exhibition game against Red River College. They were really up for that one and played really well in that one.
"This one, being a 6 p.m. start, people were just not into it — getting there late from work and just weren't into the game, but they did work hard without any subs."
The year-ending shutout is a tough one to take for the Blaze, who weren't able to consistently find the net all season despite being anchored by solid goalkeeping and defence.
For more, please see Tuesday's edition of the Portage Daily Graphic.