Women’s soccer drops a close one
By Eric Wilkins, Sports Editor
It was another unfortunate afternoon for the women’s soccer team on Saturday October 5, as they fell 2-0 against the visiting Kwantlen Eagles at Cunnings Field.
“It’s a broken record… they didn’t bring the fire in the first half. They brought it in the second half. But you need a full 90 minutes of fire if you’re going to perform and win,” said Ivan Estrada, assistant coach.
The Royals started the game a bit slowly, with Kwantlen seeing a few chances early on. Fortunately for Douglas, keeper Ashley Dunn was up for the challenge, saving a free kick from 20 yards out, before watching a series of opportunities finish wide or over the net. Angela Carotenuto had a shot for Douglas shortly before the half-hour mark, but saw her effort denied by the keeper. A minute later, while Dunn had been able to shut out any opposing strikers, she was unable to prevent a goal when a Kwantlen free kick took an unlucky deflection off a Royals’ head. The Kwantlen surge continued a few minutes later, when the referee signalled for a penalty kick after a tight foul in the box. Dunn came up with a magnificent save on the shot though, diving to her left. After some more defending from the Royals, including a breakaway Dunn raced out for, the teams headed into half with Kwantlen up 1-0.
During the break, Danika Gill started warming up in the Royals’ net after Dunn was forced to the sidelines with her right arm in a sling. It wasn’t the only change for the home team, as they came out a completely different squad—dominating the Eagles. Almost immediately, Hayley Melvin sent a dangerous cross in, but Lindsay Munroe just missed getting on the end of it. About 10 minutes into the half, Tiffany O’Krane curled a free kick into the top of the box, but the header from Marni McMillan was dealt with by the Kwantlen keeper. Gill showed she was an able replacement for Dunn minutes later, when she came up with her first save of the game, stuffing a Kwantlen attempt from the right. Miyoko McKeown unleashed a long shot shortly after, forcing a diving save from the keeper, and Munroe’s attempt off the rebound was blocked for a corner kick. Kwantlen had a rare chance in the 62nd minute on a free kick, but the shot merely bounced off the inside of the post before being cleared. Douglas had another prime chance when Melvin connected with Munroe; unfortunately, the resulting scramble in the box was quickly blown dead by the referee when the keeper appeared to grab possession. Against the flow of play, Kwantlen went up 2-0 after a gorgeous free kick about 10 minutes from time sailed into the top left of the Douglas net. The Eagles held off the Royals for the rest of the game to seal the victory.
“There was a mix of emotions coming into the game… I think I was more excited to prove myself than anything else though,” commented O’Krane, a former Eagle. “We were slow coming out of the gates but we definitely picked it up in the second half.”
“It was a tough one. Pretty unlucky break for their first goal,” remarked Codie Harkins before sharing her thoughts on the rest of the season. “We’re just going to keep working our best to get the ball in the back of the net… keep working forward.”
With the team’s hopes of playoffs virtually over at 0-9 heading into Sunday’s game, Estrada was asked about possibly experimenting over the remaining weeks: “I think we will, but at the same time, you shouldn’t give up on what you’ve been working on because then you don’t really develop players. And the whole purpose of this program is to develop players. Yes you want to win ultimately but you also want to improve the athletes.”
Player of the game: #19 Angela Carotenuto