By Thomas Becker
A pair of perfectly executed corner kicks by the Dalhousie Tigers was the difference in a 3-1 win over the Panthers Sunday afternoon.
The first came off an own goal that was tipped into the net, while Subway Player of the Game, Amanda Bowles, connected on a header for the other.
"We executed everything we talked about before the game," Bowles said. "We wanted to score on set pieces and use our wings and I thought we were very effective in doing that."
After a two-week layoff, the Panthers (4-4-1) looked to cushion their playoff position and came out with speed and aggression, creating several chances on the offensive end. But a misplayed ball in the box led to an open look for Dalhousie's Stephanie Dyck, who connected on the shot just five minutes into the game.
Instead of hanging their heads, the Panthers countered six minutes later with a goal of their own. Jennifer Balderston centered a pass for Danielle Younker, who curled it in with her left foot from outside the penalty area, beating the goalkeeper high to tie the game at one apiece.
However, the tie game didn't last for every long. On an ensuing Tigers' corner kick, keeper Amanda Stanyer accidentally tipped it into the net for the own goal as Dalhousie reclaimed the lead 2-1.
The Tigers (5-2-1) continued to find success with the corner set piece in the second half. In the 55th minute Rachelle Lalande landed a pass to Bowles, who headed it in for the goal to extend the lead 3-1.
For the Panthers, it was a game of missed opportunities. Tyffanie Bordage and Sarah MacVarish each had an opportunity in the half to score on the break, but rookie goaltender Kate Fines timed her rushes perfectly before they could get a shot off.
"There's trust between the goalie and the defence," Bowles said. "For her to come out and get those balls has been pivotal in how successful we've been this year."
For Panthers head coach Graeme MacDonald there were a lot of positives to take from this game despite the loss.
"As a coach, I'm happy because we're creating opportunities for ourselves," he said. "We mostly dominated possession today. We just have to maintain our concentration and clean up or mistakes."
With only three games remaining, the Panthers are clinging to a playoff spot and will look to get back in the win column when they host the visiting Memorial Sea-Hawks on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan