Capers Edge REDS

REDS' keeper Brynn Nash collides with a Capers attacker as she makes a save during Thursday's 3-2 loss, in Sydney. (PHOTO: Vaughan Merchant/for CBU Athletics)
REDS' keeper Brynn Nash collides with a Capers attacker as she makes a save during Thursday's 3-2 loss, in Sydney. (PHOTO: Vaughan Merchant/for CBU Athletics)

(SYDNEY, NS) The Cape Breton University Capers defeated the visiting UNB REDS 3-2 in Atlantic University Sport women's soccer action on Thursday evening, at Ness Timmons Field, in Sydney.

The loss eliminates the REDS from AUS playoff contention.

"This isn't where we want this program to live, not making the playoffs," said REDS head coach Jon Crossland. "We have to finish tomorrow (Friday) with pride and effort. The girls have answered each day and I expect tomorrow will be no different."

The game was originally scheduled for September 27th, but was postponed when Hurricane Fiona paid a devastating visit to the region.

Subway Player of the Game Alliyah Rowe (Kitchener, ON), with her conference leading tenth goal and a highlight reel assist, led the home team to victory.

In a tightly contested opening half, striker Alexandra Hughes-Goyette (Garibaldi Highlands, BC) collected a ball in the box, but her shot deflected off a CBU defender before reaching goalkeeper Haley Kardas (Halifax, NS).

Senate Letsie (Maseru, Lesotho) and Paige Allaby (Rothesay, NB) garnered consecutive scoring chances for the Capers, but they could not solve Brynn Nash (Saskatoon, SK) and her UNB defense.

In the 25th minute, Rowe gave the home side a 1-0 edge on a great individual effort. After taking a first touch with her chest, the Capers forward laced a volley into the top corner behind Nash.

A short time later, Aurora Hughes-Goyette (Garibaldi Highlands, BC) had a chance to knot the contest, but she didn't get a quality blast away after getting behind the Capers' back line and Kardas made an easy stop.

In extra time, the REDS notched the tying marker off a free-kick opportunity, with Jesse Bellamy (St. Catharines, ON) finding sophomore striker Heidi Lauwerijssen (Kensington, PE), who placed a left-footed strike behind Kardas.

The sides were deadlocked 1-1 at halftime.

In the early moments of the second half, Bellamy had a chance to break the tie but her shot sailed over the crossbar.

In the 48th minute, Letsie tested Nash, who dove to her left to make a sensational stop.

Two minutes later, Letsie ran to just outside the 18-yard box, where she unleashed a strike that tucked inside the near goal post behind Nash.

In the 74th minute, Sydney native Julia Currie came within inches of tying the contest for her REDS, but Kardas soared to get her right hand on the shot, which sent it off the cross bar and out of play.

A short time later, the Capers made it 3-1.

In the 83rd minute, Currie sliced the CBU advantage in half.

In the closing minutes, the REDS, now 2-5-4, could not complete the comeback, and the Capers, now 9-2-0, secured the victory.

"We were good for large parts of the game and carried the play," said Crossland. "I feel for our girls. We've been in that situation so many times and couldn't find a way to get the goal we needed."

"We believed we could get the points we needed this weekend to get in, and we almost got one tonight."

Both teams will return to action on Friday, when the Capers welcome the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues, while the REDS stop in Antigonish to face the STFX X-Women.

Kick-off for each match is 5:00pm.


RECAP BY: Corey LeBlanc/for CBU Athletics

PHOTOS BY: Vaughan Merchant/for CBU Athletics