In the end, their inability to capitalize on scoring chances cost the UPEI women’s soccer Panthers their season.
The Panthers lost to Acadia 3-1 on Saturday and 2-0 to Dalhousie to finish the season in eighth place, three points behind UNB which grabbed the sixth and final spot.
“Not scoring goals is what cost us, not taking advantage of those opportunities that came along,’’ said UPEI head coach Graeme McDonald. “We had seven opportunities in front of the goal (Sunday). You take three of those and put them in and we’re in the playoffs.’’
Still, McDonald can’t say enough about the effort he got out of his squad this weekend.
“We fought well, we battled really well, we played really well, just great performances from the girls. They gave everything out there and it just wasn’t enough because we didn’t find the goals to get us into the playoffs.’’
On Saturday against Acadia, the Axewomen outshot UPEI 24-2 with Panther keeper Amanda Stanyer posting 11 saves on 14 shots on goal. The Axewomen dominated the last 45 minutes by scoring all their goals in the second half.
Jennifer Balderston scored UPEI’s lone goal against Acadia while the Axewomen got goals from Gemma LeBlanc, Meghan Earle and Jenna Boudreau. Earle also picked up two assists.
Acadia also had the edge in corner kicks, 11-1.
McDonald said UPEI dominated Sunday’s game in the first half only to see Dal score on one of two shots they had when the Panthers didn’t have the ball.
Scoring for the Tigers were Maya Venkkataraman and Brenna Kettlewell.
UPEI outshot Dal 7-4 while corner kicks were 0-0.
The UPEI coach is proud of how far his team, loaded with first- and second-year players has come.
“What a great season for our young team. I’m really proud of them. They’re still maturing, still getting lots of experience this year and we’ll come back next year with another year of experience behind us and we’ll run into next year with a good group of second and third years.’’
McDonald is already excited about next year, having proved something to themselves this year.
“I think the girls are really happy that we competed with every team this year so that was the key for us. That was proven by the fact that we had a chance to get into the playoffs (Sunday), on the last game of the season.