Posted: Mar 19, 2020
This week's Throwback Thursday features the 2002-03 women's soccer team. Check out their season recap below.
The 2002 edition of the Dalhousie Tigers women’s soccer team opened training camp with a drastically different look than the 2001 squad which finished the previous season ranked 5th in the CIS. Graduated or moving on were nine of nineteen players including six starters.
Attrition is the name of the game in CIS sport and the departure of these outstanding players created openings and big cleats to fill for those willing to accept the challenge. This year’s version of the Tigers was both young and large in number as fifteen of twenty-three players were either first or second year players. Leading the charge were fifth year captains Andrea Gillespie and Laura Diamond as well as third year captain Laura Scharf.
Dalhousie opened the season with a road trip to face the MUN Seahawks where they would start things off with a pair of shutout wins. Goalkeeper Cristina Barreiro, then earned her third shutout as Dal trounced the Axewomen by a score of 6-0. Andrea Gillespie and Chrissie Henderson led the Tigers with two goals a piece. This would prove to be the only win for the weekend, as the Tigers were deadlocked with both SMU and StFX at 0-0 for the next two outings.
The Tigers then played host to Moncton and Amber Coldwell’s penalty shot goal was all Dal needed to secure the two points and stretch Barreiro’s shutout streak to six games. The Tigers then hit the road and Barreiro’s streak was quickly laid to rest when UPEI evened the score after Henderson had given Dal a 1-0 lead. Dramatic heroics were shown by fifth year veteran and hometown heroine Laura Diamond as she chipped the keeper from twenty-five yards out for the game winning goal! The next day at MtA, the Mounties opened the game’s scoring, and carried the 1-0 advantage well into the second half. Gillespie slotted home the tying marker to secure the Tigers 3 of a possible 4 points on the road.
The first weekend of October brought visiting UNB to Wickwire Field for a one game Tiger weekend. The Tigers jumped out to a 4-0 lead at half-time and then scored two more in the second frame for a 6-0 pounding of the Varsity Reds. Amber Coldwell led the way with the hat trick and Lauras, Scharf and Diamond, as well as Erin Brothers rounded out the scoring. Barreiro got back on the shutout track as she put up her seventh clean sheet of the season.
The Tigers then faced perhaps their stiffest test of the season as they hosted the West Division leading and unbeaten UCCB Capers. As they did all season, Dalhousie carried the edge in play, yet, did not exact enough pressure to break down the Caper defense or test the keeper. The Capers capitalized on their one good chance and recorded a 1-0 away win snapping the Tigers undefeated streak. Dal rounded out their season with ties against Acadia and Saint Mary’s.
The Tigers completed a tough AUS schedule finishing with 6 wins, a loss and 5 ties for second in the East Division and third overall. They faced StFX in the quarterfinal at SMU where they would dominate the opening half, and with relentless pressure finally wore down their rivals as Erin Brothers scored in the 68th minute. Diamond then got the insurance goal and with minutes remaining in the game rookie Lara Correia brought it to a 3-0 final score. Barreiro recorded her ninth shutout of the season. The semifinal had Dal up against Saint Mary’s and despite creating many chances they were unable to put the ball out of the SMU keeper’s reach. On a snow covered field the Huskies scored at the 73 minute mark to set the stage for a wild finish. Try as they did, with a shot off the cross-bar and a few other close range opportunities, the Tigers ran out of time and the 1-0 loss brought the end of their season.
Solid play by the Tigers this season earned them a number of All-Star awards, with Barreiro and Diamond with spots on the first team and Coldwell, Gillespie and Laura Scharf on the second team. Laura Diamond was also granted a Second Team All-Canadian nod for her performance this season.