Antigonish, NS – In a battle of undefeated AUS teams, it was the U SPORTS No. 7 ranked Cape Breton Capers who came out on top with a 1-0 victory over the StFX X-Women Friday night at Oland Stadium.
Before the Capers and X-Women kicked-off Homecoming weekend at StFX, the question was not who would score a goal in this game, but who would score the goal. While the Capers have averaged four goals a game, it was never going to be a case of how many against the X-Women.
From the first whistle, ball control, controlled passing, and tight defending were the order of the evening. Both teams utilized a back three which meant there were tight quarters among the midfielders. It was an education to watch Mercy Miles (Accra, Ghana) and Larissa White (Westphal, NS) attempt to assert control of the midfield while Ciera Disipio (Ottawa, ON) and Amelia Carlini (Ottawa, ON) of the Capers did the same for their team.
The first half yielded few chances for either side and it was Capers wing-back Tamara Brown (Whitby, ON) that was the stand-out player in both defence and attack. She kept tight control on all those who dared venture down the right-hand side of the pitch. For the X-Women, it was captain Olivia Czipf (Thunder Bay, ON) whose composure with the ball and nice passes often put the X-Women on the attack or relieved the pressure in dangerous situations.
The second half began much the same as the second half with the Capers just slightly edging the play. StFX remained composed with Amy Rowe (Aurora, ON) handling the attacking Capers. Both teams had a number of opportunities to go on the attack and it was first half Capers substitute Rachel Leck (Pickering, ON) at midfield who often looked dangerous and had a number of nice attacking runs with the ball at her feet.
To say it would be inevitable would be a stretch, but the Capers eventually found the back of the StFX net after 85 minutes. It was midfield maestro and Subway Player of the Game, Ciera Disipio who fired a brilliant strike into the top corner. The X-Women defence was under pressure and, on this particular occasion, as they attempted to make their way up the field with a series of passes, their effort was foiled and the end result was the game winning goal.
The match was a 90-minute advertisement for the merits of women's soccer. There was skill in abundance, quick closing down and very little room in which to operate. There was also a physical nature to the match as Amy Rowe and Keona Simmonds (Brampton, ON) going shoulder-to-shoulder on more than one occasion and no quarter given in any part of the pitch.
Lysianne Trottier (Barrie, ON) earned the shutout victory in nets for the Capers, who improve to 6-0-0 atop the AUS conference. Emma Kuzmyk (Cookstown, ON) tended the X net as the blue and white had their first loss of the season and now sit with a 3-1-3 record.
The Capers are back on the pitch on Sunday when they travel to Charlottetown to face the UPEI Panthers. The X-Women next see action on October 14th when they host Acadia.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Athletics Communications