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Tigers tie with Panthers

Photo courtesy of Janessa Hogan
Photo courtesy of Janessa Hogan

Source: Thomas Becker, UPEI Athletics 

The UPEI Panthers kept their playoff hopes alive after Sunday afternoon's nil-nil draw with the Dalhousie Tigers. 

By securing a point, the Panthers (1-4-4) find themselves seven points out of the final playoff spot with three games left and nine points up for grabs. Even though the odds are slim, there's no quit in this UPEI team that just shut out an opponent who scored six goals against them two weeks earlier. 

"It shows the character of these players. They're going to keep fighting until the end," said Panthers head coach Lewis Page. "Until someone tells us we're out of it, we're going to keep going for it." 

Veteran midfielder Lauren Clark said the team learned from its mistakes in the previous meeting with the Tigers and wanted to put together a stronger performance. 

"Last game, they had a lot of cross and finishing goals, so today it was really just about getting on your man, marking up and winning the ball in the air." 

They were successful in that area, as the Panthers defended the box much better on set pieces and didn't allow the Tigers (4-2-2) to centre the ball for easy looks. Dalhousie did manage to outshoot their opponent 18-5, but none of those shots were threatening, as goalkeeper Veronica Kozak routinely made the easy save. 

Despite the shot discrepancy, the best chances came from the Panthers. First, it was Tyffanie Bordage, whose strong defensive play led to a one-on-one opportunity in the 26th minute. After taking the ball down the field, the fifth-year midfielder sent a beautiful cross to Olivia Cummings, who shot it wide of the net. 

Then on a corner kick in the 50th minute, Rachel Green tried to connect on a header off a Clark corner kick, but was stopped by Annabel Gravely to keep the game knotted at zero. 

While disappointed they couldn't capture the three points they hoped for, Clark acknowledged there's still time to gain ground. 

"There's no reason why we can't get some wins in the next three. We just need to work hard and keep the pressure on for 90 minutes," she said. 

The Panthers will take on the Memorial Sea-Hawks next Friday.