Sydney, N.S. — Daphne Wallace’s well-placed shot from about 30 yards out in the 24th minute to the lower left corner of the net ended the UPEI Panthers soccer season Saturday in Atlantic University Sport women’s soccer semifinal play.
The Dalhousie Tigers rode the 1-0 victory in semifinal play to capture the conference championship with a 3-1 win Sunday over the top-ranked, and host, Cape Breton Capers.
Wallace netted Saturday’s winning shot, taking a pass from league MVP Reika Santilli and drilling a low, hard shot on the wet turf past Channelle Roy.
“It was a good goal, we had plenty of bodies behind the ball, she just hit a winner,” Panther coach Mike Redmond said after the game. “We competed well, matched them physically, it just wasn’t our day. No one likes to lose, however I will remember how well the girls played and how much this team improved leading into this weekend long after I forget about the loss.”
The game featured prolonged periods of action between the 18-yard boxes as the teams struggled on the slick turf to generate offence. The exception was a 15-minute stretch in the first half when the Tigers had several quality chances.
The Capers’ Lauren Landry had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the 18th minute only to see Roy get a hand on the shot, tipping it off the crossbar and over the net. In the 21st minute
No one likes to lose, however I will remember how well the girls played and how much this team improved leading into this weekend long after I forget about the loss. - Mike Redmond, UPEI Panthers women's soccer team coach
Panther defender Lindsay Noonan cleared a ball off the goal-line when Dal redirected a corner onto the net.
UPEI’s best chance for a goal came in the 41st minute when Maria Scichilone was hauled down just inside the box.
The referee, who consistently let the players decide the game, opted not to award a penalty shot.
The Panthers had the edge in the second half but did not generate a play where one would think the ball was headed into the Dalhousie net.
Panther player of the game Sarah Stanley had her second strong game of the weekend.
“She was excellent,” Redmond said.
Ian Greedy in the 41st minute scored the winner and Bruno Mota added an insurance goal in the 86th minute as the Cape Breton Capers defeated the top-ranked UNB Varsity Reds in Charlottetown.
Andrew Murphy had 11 saves for the shutout.
Both teams had already clinched a spot at the nationals in Laval, which begin Thursday, as the Atlantic conference receives two spots in the CIS championship.
Cape Breton, which knocked off UPEI Friday in quarter-final play, came into the championship as the third seed.
The Capers knocked off the second-seeded Saint Mary's Huskies 1-0 in penalty kicks to advance to the final.
UNB defeated Dalhousie 4-3 in the semifinal.