On a night when she became the first woman to dress in a U Sports regular season game, University of Manitoba kicker Maya Turner hit the game-winning field goal from 21 yards out in overtime to give her team a 27-24 victory over the Regina Rams.
Turner had already made history earlier in the contest when she drove home a 21-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give her team a 3-2 lead, becoming the first female player to score in a regular-season U Sports football game. She connected on all five of her kicks, two field goals and three extra points, to score a total of nine points in her debut.
With the game tied at 24, Manitoba’s long field goal kicker, Vinny De Rosa, missed a 41-yard kick in the first overtime period to force a second extra frame. Turner made no such mistake on the next possession and Regina missed the equalizer, handing the Bisons a homecoming win for the ages.
A native of Maple Grove, Minnesota, Turner is entering her first season at Manitoba since transferring from Loyola College in Chicago. She was a Division 1 soccer player for the school before setting aside that sport in pursuit of her dream of becoming a football kicker.
She had previously dressed for Manitoba’s preseason game against the University of Saskatchewan, hitting a 25-yard field goal to become the first woman to score in any U Sports football contest.
Turner follows in the footsteps of Simon Fraser University’s Kristie Elliot, who became the first Canadian female to score points in an NCAA game last year. She is the second female player in Bisons football history, following defensive back Reina Ilzuka — who redshirted but never dressed for the program.
Manitoba (1-3) will return to action on Sunday, October 1 against the winless Calgary Dinos.