Sydney, NS – The hometown Cape Breton University (CBU) Capers edged the Western Mustangs 2-1 – in a penalty-kick thriller – in the second consolation semi-final match at the 2021 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championships on Friday night.
Senior defender Fatou Ndiaye – the eighth shooter for CBU – notched the game-winner, with the Capers outscoring the Mustangs 6-5.
Caper junior goalkeeper Haley Kardas made three penalty-kick saves, while Mustang freshman Samantha St. Croix collected two stops.
Early in the first half – in the ninth minute – sophomore midfielder Hannah Vickers made it 1-0 for Western. After making a spin move in traffic, she was able to put a shot behind Kardas.
In the 17th minute, the Capers threatened when sophomore forward Alliyah Rowe made a nifty run before being surrounded by a trio of Mustang defenders; nevertheless, she was able to make a cross to freshman forward Abby MacNeil, who laced a shot towards the far corner to the left of St. Croix, but one of her defenders cleared away the threat.
For most of the opening 45 minutes, the sides were evenly matched; both coming up empty on any set pieces, while defensive success was at a premium.
In the second half, third-year midfielder Rebecca Lambke notched the equalizer for the Capers on a penalty kick, which came after one of her teammates was hauled down in the 18-yard box.
Minutes later, the Mustangs had a chance to regain their one-goal advantage, when junior defender Alexandra Hebert redirected a cross from Vickers, but Kardas made the save.
In the 62nd minute, Rowe showed her defensive chops when she headed away a Western corner kick. On the ensuing scramble, Kardas slid out to gobble up the loose ball.
Off a free kick by the Mustangs from almost midfield, Kardas bobbled the ball along the end line, giving Medina Birani a close-in shot, but she hit the side of the net from a sharp angle.
Fresh off the bench, in the 72nd minute, CBU sophomore forward Erin Freeman made a strong run, but her through ball to Rowe, who was racing into the 18-yard box, was intercepted.
There was a scramble in the 18-yard box, off a Western corner kick, but the Caper defenders were able to relieve the pressure in the 79th minute.
A short time later, off a free kick from Caper freshman defender Amy-Anne Ndiaye, senior defender Madison Lavers chipped a header just wide of the right post, but the Mustangs cleared the zone.
On a late run by Rowe, she darted a cross into the box, but sophomore midfielder Caleigh MacPherson just missed making a deflection on a sliding effort.
Neither team threatened in extra time.
With the victory, CBU advances to the consolation final, where they will face the Queen’s Gaels, on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 4 p.m. AST.
NIKE Players of the Game
- CBU: Fatou Ndiaye
- Western: Medina Birani
WES: Hannah Vickers 9’ WES-1 – CBU-0
CBU: Rebecca Lambke (PK) 55’ WES-1 – CBU-1
WES: Anna Larkin – goal
CBU: Alliyah Rowe – save
WES: Natalie Abbate – save
CBU: Amelia Carlini – goal
WES: Avarie Thomas – goal
CBU: Rebecca Lambke – goal
WES: Tiffany Johnston – save
CBU: Maddy Lavers – goal
WES: Reese Fowler – goal
CBU: Erin Freeman – save
WES: Katrina Giantsopoulos – goal
CBU: Janelle Tierney – goal
WES: Lauren O’Donnell – goal
CBU: Emma Clarke – goal
WES: Sabine Gillie-Hardie – save
CBU: Fatou Ndiaye – goal
Digital coverage can be accessed on cbcsport.ca the free CBC Gem streaming service and the CBC Sports app, while French-language broadcasts are available at https://video.isilive.ca/play/usports/w-soccer-french