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Tigers play to 0-0 draw with Capers

Photo courtesy of Vaughan Merchant
Photo courtesy of Vaughan Merchant

Source: Corey LeBlanc 

Sydney, N.S. – The host Cape Breton University (CBU) Capers (7-0-3) and Dalhousie Tigers (4-2-4) played to a 0-0 tie in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women's soccer action on Sunday afternoon at the Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex. 

"We played well – we are so happy with how we competed," Dalhousie head coach Cindy Tye said after the matchup with their first-place opponent. 

She noted that both teams had quality chances. 

"It was a great late-October game," Tye adds. 

Veteran CBU defender Madison Lavers (Halifax, N.S.) said, "I don't think that we are overly happy with the tie – we wanted to get the three points today." 

Nevertheless, she noted that the Capers are pleased with remaining undefeated while securing a bye in the AUS playoffs on home turf.  

She adds that her team knew it would be a "tough game" against the Tigers, noting that they are "very organized defensively and have a quick counter-attack." 

Lavers said that they were able to "manage" the match well, while contending with the conditions. 

The wind was a key factor in this match, dictating the approaches of both sides. 

In the first half, the Tigers – with the wind – could not take advantage; their best scoring opportunity coming off a corner kick in the 20th minute, but CBU goalkeeper Haley Kardas (Halifax, N.S.) aggressively came off her line to punch away the ball. She made easy work of a soft shot that came into her hands off the rebound. 

In the 37th minute, Zoe Brown (Halifax, N.S.) got free at the top of the Caper box, but Kardas snagged the left-footed shot. 

Although they stuck to short, crisp passes – mainly kept on the ground to combat the wind – the Capers garnered the lion's share of the scoring chances. 

Annabel Gravely (Toronto, ON) of the Tigers barred the door when threatened, including after Alliyah Rowe (Kitchener, ON) showed some nifty footwork and uncoiled a hard shot with her left foot. 

In the second half, the teams battled, with Dalhousie getting the first quality scoring opportunity when forward Chloe Richardson (Calgary, AB) caused havoc with her speed; her strike from the top of the box sailed over the crossbar behind Kardas. 

Richardson – who subbed in during the second half – continued to lead the Tiger offense, putting constant pressure on the Caper defenders. 

"Chloe made an immediate impact," Tye said.  

In the 71st minute, Erin Freeman (Halifax, N.S.) – the Subway player of the match – was able to get some breathing room against the air-tight Dal defense before finding Rowe, but Gravely darted towards the high-scoring forward and smothered the shot. 

Six minutes later, off the rush, Freeman found Rowe, who couldn't get turned for a shot attempt because she was blanketed by defender Holly Buckler (Halifax, N.S.). 

In the 84th minute, amidst a crowd, Kardas soared to snag a Dalhousie corner kick. 

A couple of minutes later, with the Capers pressing, Richardson was sent away by her mates before getting into a foot race with defender Emma Clark (Centreville, N.S.). Her shot attempt was blocked, but it created another corner-kick chance for the visitors. On that follow-up set-piece, Kardas was able to corral a Tiger header. 

It was the final home match of the regular season for the Capers, so CBU Athletics and the women's soccer program honoured its senior class, which includes Lavers, Kardas, Freeman, Tessa Dowie (River Ryan), Rebecca Lambke (Antigonish, N.S.), Fatou Ndiaye (Pierrefonds, QC), Amelia Carlini (Ottawa, ON) and Amy Lynch (Sydney, N.S.). 

"It is tough to answer because it doesn't feel like the end," Lavers said of celebrating that occasion, noting that the group knows they have the AUS championship and U SPORTS tournaments coming up – at home – in November. 

Nevertheless, she adds the group was touched by the moment; not only receiving photos of their time with the program but also getting pictures taken as a group and with the Caper coaching staff. 

"It was a great day," Lavers says. 

The Capers will return to action on Friday, Oct. 29, when they visit the Saint Mary's Huskies, while the Tigers will host the STFX X-Women.  

Both matches – set for Halifax – kickoff at 5 p.m.