It was a tough loss to take, but Memorial Sea-Hawks women’s soccer coach Walt Mavin said it was an important learning experience for his team just the same.
The Sea-Hawks, playing in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) post-season for the first time in five years, fell 1-0 in overtime to the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers in the teams’ quarter-final Friday night in Moncton, N.B.
“It was disappointing for sure, but we knew it was going to be tough going,” said Mavin.
“Before the game we talked about not wanting to walk off the field questioning our performance,” said Mavin who added he was pleaded with the effort, if not the result.
“It was unfortunate that they got that one bounce in the second half of overtime and we didn’t get a bounce anywhere along the way, though we had our chances.”
Sarah Stanley scored the game-winner off a header in the box with 11 minutes remaining in the second period of extra time to give the Panthers the victory.
Rookie keeper Jaime Crocker started in goal for the Sea-Hawks, turning aside all four shots on goal, but she became sick and Hannah Noseworthy took over in the second half and kept the Panthers off the scoresheet until the 109th minute.
Paula Whitten was the player of the game for the Sea-Hawks.
The top-seeded and undefeated Canadian Inter-university Sport No. 5-ranked Cape Breton Capers, which defeated UPEI 1-0 on a penalty kick in the semifinals, blanked the Acadia Axewomen 3-0 to win the championship. Acadia had advanced to the final by upsetting the two-time defending champion Dalhousie Tigers 2-0 in the other semifinal.
It was the Capers seventh AUS banner in the past 11 seasons.
“I thought we carried the play, especially in the second half,” said Mavin about the quarter-final match. “In fact, it was one of our better second halfs all season.”
The shots directed on goal favoured MUN 16-13.
“We had 10 corners, so we had opportunities,” noted Mavin. We had chances. Overall, I thought the girls put in a good effort.
“There were certain parts of the game we all agreed that we dropped off a little bit in terms of giving up possession a little too easily.
“We’re a young team (10 rookies) and this is valuable experience for most of these players who will be back next year. They know what it takes to get here (the playoffs).
“Making the playoffs this year was very important, especially for the group of first-year players. It’s no mystery to them now. They know what’s got to be done. You need to create your own chances and make your own luck.”
“There were several close games in this year’s playoffs,” noted Mavin, “so it was a case of anybody could win, although I believe Cape Breton were full value for claiming the title.”