The Cape Breton (CBU) Capers scored two late goals to edge the Panthers 2-1 Sunday in Charlottetown.
“I thought it was a good performance, but unfortunately we didn’t get a good result,” said Panther coach Lewis Page. “It’s plenty to build on and I think this effort today sets us up well for the last four games of the season.”
Cape Breton improved to 6-0-1 while UPEI has lost three in a row to fall to 3-5-0.
The Panthers dusted off the cobwebs from Friday night’s 2-0 loss at Saint Mary’s and came out a different team against the Capers with hard tackles that took CBU a little bit by surprise.
What appeared to be a vulnerable Capers back-line resulted in UPEI’s first scoring chance as striker Neil Harte was taken down in the box in the 30th minute. Caper keeper Ben Jackson stopped Panthers midfielder Nacho Sanchez, but the referee deemed Jackson had stepped off his line early and gave UPEI another shot. Sanchez made no mistake on the second chance, giving the Panthers the 1-0 lead that took them into halftime.
The second half though was a different story as the Panthers played as though they were hanging on to win by virtue of the one-goal lead.
That seemed to evaporate as the Capers were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute from a handball. The Panthers hopes again lifted as UPEI keeper Brett Strba came up with a pressure-cooker save to preserve the lead. It didn't last long as Caper striker Charlie Waters evened the scoring in the 74th minute and four minutes later unmarked Capers striker Cory Bent side-footed the game-winning marker inside the far post.
The Panthers tried to fight back for the tying goal without success.
“I thought Brett was good as was the back-line and Sam (Smiley) played well also,” Page said. “There were some good performances.”
Stats reflected the edge going to the Capers with 20 shots towards goal with 13 on target while the Panthers had 11 shots towards goal with four on target. Chances were 7-4 favouring the Capers with the Capers also up on corner kicks 9-4. UPEI outfouled CBU 12-10 with both teams picking up two yellow cards.
The conference will now take the Thanksgiving break off before returning for Week 5 with the Panthers hosting the Dalhousie Tigers on Sunday, Oct. 15.
The UPEI Panthers did something Sunday no team in the AUS had been able to do this season – score on the Capers women’s team.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough in a 5-1 loss to the conference-leading Capers (7-0-0). UPEI is 4-3-1.
Keona Simmonds and Ciera Disipio gave the visiting Capers a 2-0 lead 35 minutes in, but Tyffanie Bordage from Sarah MacVarish cut the deficit in half with 2:28 left in the opening half.
“We’ve been scoring goals the last few games and I think they felt confident that we could go in today and get a goal,” Panthers head coach Graeme McDonald said. “They’re really happy that they scored.”
Disipio scored her second of the game three minutes into the second half after a UPEI turnover to give the Capers an insurance marker.
“I actually felt we started the second half really well. One of the lessons that we take from this game is you make mistakes, you get punished with a team like CBU,” McDonald said. “That third goal sort of took some of the wind out of our sails.”
Simmonds added her second of the game in the 68th minute and Chelsea Foote rounded out the scoring with five minutes to play.
Rachel Yerxa made six saves for the win while Amanda Stanyer stopped half of the 10 shots she faced.
UPEI went 4-0-1 in its five games before Sunday’s contest. It leaves the team going into the second half in a three-way tie with Acadia and Dalhousie for third place in the conference. UPEI has played one more game than the other two teams.
– With files from Jason Malloy, The Guardian