By Ryan Hyndman
The Dalhousie Tigers' Men's Soccer team celebrated Senior Night as they concluded their 2022 AUS regular season at Wickwire Field against the UPEI Panthers on Saturday afternoon.
The Panthers came out to a quick start, rushing down the field and getting the opportunity at a corner kick in the 1'. Although the Tigers' defense was able to keep it out of the goal. UPEI would stay on the attack, pressing for an early goal. A few moments later, the Tigers would make their way down the field and Suliman Elomrani (Halifax, NS) was awarded a free kick. The ball made its way past a few defenders before it was cleared by the Panthers.
Over the next few minutes of the half, the teams would alternate gaining field position, however strong defensive efforts would keep any offensive chances to a minimum. The first strong chance for the Tigers came off the foot of Mykeo Parker-Christmas (Halifax, NS) in the 19', who sailed the ball just wide of the left post with the match still looking for its first goal. The Panthers would have a response in the 23' racing down the field before a promising shot attempt sailed far wide, again keeping the match 0-0. UPEI would ride the momentum, directing a few more balls towards the net, but a strong performance from the Tigers defense kept the threat minimal. To end the half, the Tigers got one last opportunity from a corner kick, but as it was blocked out of play, it would remain a scoreless game headed to the second half.
The Panthers took the first offensive chance of the second chance, as they broke in and just missed over the top crossbar. UPEI continued to hold the momentum for most of the first 10 minutes of the second half in the Dalhousie half. The Tigers would get their first attempt on net in the 57' as a cross from Mohammed Jaber (Halifax, NS) found the hands of goaltender Isaac Wolters (Springvale, PEI).
In the 65', the Panthers broke in to get a clean look on goal, but goaltender AJ Kapilan (Halifax, NS), who entered the game for the second half made a nice leg-save challenging near the top of the box. The Tigers would rush down for a chance of their own in the 72' but a nice block from Max VanWeichen (Montague, PEI) directed the ball out of play for a corner kick. In the 81', the Panthers got a great opportunity on net off a corner from Jonathan Mackenzie (Charlottetown, PEI), but Kapilan made an aggressive play to keep it out of the net. In the 84', the Tigers got aggressive, earning several corner kicks and creating chaos around the UPEI net.
The aggressive approach would prove costly, as the Panthers would get a break in the 88' allowing Jake Tweel (Charlottetown, PEI) to walk in for the first goal of the match, making it 1-0. The Tigers, pushing for an equalizer in injury time, found some late game heroics, as Jaber was able to make a rebound find the back of the net to make it 1-1. The dramatics would not end there, as the Tigers were awarded a penalty kick on their next possession and Elomrani made no mistake to end the match 2-1.
Mohammed Jaber took home the Subway Player of the Game honours for the Tigers
The Tigers finish their regular season with a record of 5-3-4, finishing 6th and will look toward the AUS Quarter Final match in the coming days.
The Panthers conclude their regular season 1-9-2, finishing 8th as their AUS season comes to close and will look forward to 2023.