Picture: Lindsay Noonan (21), Lauren Myers (15), and Emily Boswall (10), of thee Winsloe Charlottetown Royals, pursue a loose ball after a free kick in U-18 action versus Chaleur FC at BMO Club National Championships
Cost of sending daughter to Club Nationals in Fredericton - $850; price per night at hotel - $140, allowance for beer for the week - undisclosed; sunshine and 22° C weather for soccer in October – priceless. And it appears the Winsloe Charlottetown Royals U-18 ladies can’t buy a goal at these championships either!
From the opening touch the Royals went on the attack and had the New Brunswick side on their heels. Four minutes in Lauren Myers rang a shot of the post and crossbar, a sign of things to come. The back line, lead by captain Lindsay Noonan and Kelsie Collier in the middle with Jen White and Laura Younker on the wings, effectively shut down the Chaleur FC offence and aggressively jumped into the play as the PEI pressured the NB team throughout the half. It appeared Melissa Richardson had finally gotten Winsloe on the score sheet at the 31 minute mark as her low hard shot eluded the outstretched hands of the diving Chaleur keep. As the Island fans rose to cheer the ball rolled just past the post, but it was apparent it was only a matter of time. Two glorious opportunities by Jenna Jo McDonald just before half also couldn’t find the back of the net.
In the opening minutes of the second half the Royals lacked their initial intensity allowing Chaleur some space. Then a slight defensive miscue at the 49 minute mark gave the NB team an opening and a 1 – 0 lead. The goal sparked the Island side as they pressed forward for the equalizer. The all out offensive allowed the NB team a few quick strikes but Emma Kelly was equal to the task making some point blank stops. In a fairly physical game that the referee appeared content to let the teams play, Winsloe Charlottetown FC continued their relentless push forward. Finally at the 80 minute mark the Royals got the opportunity they needed. A free kick was awarded just beyond the 18 yard box. The left foot of Lauren Myers drilled the shot over the line of defenders and keeper alike, only to graze the crossbar yet again. With two minutes to play a goal off a scramble in the PEI box put the nail in the coffin and a final 2 – 0 score.
The Winsloe crew deserved a better fate but lady luck reared her ugly head and dealt them a cruel blow. Well if it’s true that close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, the Royals should consider investing in a couple of RPG’s and other heavy artillery before they battle Nova Scotia in their final group match tomorrow.