Women’s team loses in unfortunate fashion.
The Mount Allison Women’s Soccer Mounties lost in a heartbreaker to the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) Panthers. The Panthers held the slight edge in the match, as they were on the outside, looking in at the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) playoff race. The Mounties’ struggles had eliminated them from playoff contention, but they were looking to play the role of spoiler against the Panthers.
Robin Bessemer was unable to play for the Mounties this week, so Tessa Ritchie took over between the pipes for the varsity squad. In what was her second start of the season, she was ready to take on the role. She got tangled up with a Panther forward in the box, and the official decided that Ritchie had gained advantage from the entanglement. To the dismay of the Mounties, the official pointed to the spot, and both squads lined up for the penalty kick. Ritchie showed elite form, laying out for the diving stop to keep the game scoreless.
They started the match with veteran Megan Entwistle on the sidelines. She had been suffering from a concussion, and was not cleared to play until after the match had started. When she did come into the game, she made her presence known. Within minutes of getting onto the field, her and Mounties leading goal-scorer Amanda Volcko showed elite-levels of chemistry, frustrating the Panthers back-line to no end. Her efforts in producing chances allowed Volcko to march forward to the left side of the eighteen-yard box. She was able to draw the Panthers to her side, and an elusive pass went straight to Cassie Suche. Suche made sure of her chance, driving the ball into the netting, putting the Mounties ahead one-nil.
Coach Kevin Johnson was influential in the Mounties’ strong start. He spent the entire first half sending his enthusiasm toward his side, and they responded pleasantly.
UPEI was obviously upset with their showing in the first half, and their inability to capitalize on the penalty kick. At the start of the second half, they came out flying. UPEI centre forward Maria Scichilone was able to create chances for the opposing Panthers, and was able to create a corner for the Panthers. On the ensuing corner, substitute Melissa Burke headed the ball past Tessa Ritchie to tie the game.
The final minutes of play proved to be dramatic. Both coaches were vocal in rallying their clubs for the winning goal. They traded blows like heavyweight fighters, but the official awarded the Panthers a free kick just outside the eighteen-yard box, just to Tessa Ritchie’s right. Ritchie asked for a two-woman wall, and the Panthers’ Kelsie Collier took the kick. She placed the kick to the left of the wall, and it was just out of Ritchie’s reach. The Panthers were elated as they celebrated the goal in extra-time.
The Women were frustrated and disappointed with the loss, and rightfully so. It was a complete effort from their side and they were unfortunate losers in a very dramatic game.
They were able to draw the Saint Mary’s Huskies last Sunday, 0-0. They will look to end the season on a high note as they have the opportunity to beat the Huskies in their final game of the season on October 27, on MacAulay field.
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