(HALIFAX, N.S.) – A goal by rookie midfielder Cierra Thomas (London, ON) in the 82nd minute of play was enough to lift the visiting UNB Varsity Reds to victory 1-0 over the Dalhousie Tigers at Wickwire Field Friday night.
The Varsity Reds dictated play in the opening five minutes, generating two quality chances.
Fullback Laura McNicholas (Doncaster, UK) had the first opportunity to open the scoring at 2:34 on a shot from the left flank, but was stopped by Dalhousie goalie Sam Corcoran (Ottawa, ON). Less than a minute later, striker Lauren Cubbon (Saskatoon, SK) put a header on net, but was also stymied by Corcoran.
The Tigers fought back, and had their best chance of the first half at 8:21, as midfielder Adelle Goodfellow (Halifax, NS) sped behind UNB's back line and delivered a sliding kick from inside the box. Varsity Reds goalie Sami Jo Bell (East Dover, NS) stood firm though to keep the game scoreless.
It appeared UNB had taken the lead with eight minutes left in the half, as a strike from the right side by Cubban slipped through the gloves of Corcoran. Defender Amanda Bowles (Burlington, ON) was in appropriate position however, and was able to clear the ball away just before it crossed the goal line.
The visitors had 12 shots on goal in the half compared to six for the home side – as well as five corner kicks – but Corcoran stood firm, keeping the game knotted at zero entering the halftime.
Both squads traded chances in the opening minutes of the second half.
Striker Brenna Kettlewell (Quispamsis, NB) had a good look for Dalhousie in the 50th minute, but her direct shot from the middle of the field was stopped by Jo Bell. Thomas responded just over a minute later for UNB with an accurate corner kick, but it was handled by Corcoran.
Dalhousie controlled the pace of play for the majority of the second half, with nine shots on goal compared to just three for the Varsity Reds, however it was UNB that would notch the game's only goal.
Thomas placed an accurate corner into the box and was able to finish off her own play, with a low shot after the Tigers were unable to clear the ball.
Despite the result, Tigers head coach Cindy Tye was pleased with the way her team responded in the second half, after a slow start.
"It was probably the best game of football we've played. We had it on the carpet and moved it around, we had some opportunities, so that's a lot of growth for us," Tye said postgame.
The Subway Players of the Game were midfielder Maya Venkataraman (Summerland, BC) for Dalhousie and Lauren Cubbon for UNB. Venkataraman had two shots on goal for the Tigers, while Cubbon had five shots on goal for the Varsity Reds.
With the win, UNB improves to 2-2-1 while Dalhousie falls to 1-5-1.
The Varsity Reds next action goes on Saturday at 1 p.m. as they visit Saint Mary's, while the Tigers will host Acadia on Sunday at the same time.
By: Mike Still, Dalhousie Athletics