By Thomas Becker
The Cape Breton Capers are defending champions for a reason and they showed why on Sunday with a convincing 3-0 win over the Panthers
Amelia Carlini led the way with a pair of goals, while Ciera Disipio chipped in with a goal late. But the team as whole was methodical in their approach and got whatever they wanted on the field, as they outshot UPEI 28-1.
"Everyone trusts each other on this team, we're like a family," said Carlini, who was named Subway Player of the Game. "It's a lot of fun getting to know each other and understanding what each of us bring to the field."
It didn't take long for the Capers to make their presence felt. In the 6th minute, Chantal Caron sent a beautiful pass across the box to Disipio, who shot it just over the goal. That was sign of things to come, as the midfielder recorded nine shots with five on target.
The UPEI defenders played on their heels for most of the half as the Capers dominated possession. The defence kept them afloat for most of the 45 minutes, but with pressure mounting they finally cracked. In the final minute of the half, Maddy Johnson sent a corner kick to Carlini, who volleyed it past keeper Ali Muise to put Cape Breton ahead 1-0.
"We were having trouble scoring that first goal, but once we got it, we were pressing more and we gained confidence," she said.
Carlini was at it again in the 66th minute and on great individual effort tapped the ball past Muise to extend the lead 2-0. On her ninth shot attempt of the game, Disipio finally connected in the 70th as she lunged at a cross from Rachel Leck for the easy goal.
Despite the crooked numbers, Panthers head coach Graeme McDonald was impressed with the way his defence performed, especially against Cape Breton's relentless attack.
"The positive that came out of this was that the girls defended well," he said. "The thing is, even though it's great to defend, at some point you have to get up there and try to score goals. They're [Cape Breton] such a good team and they'll get through eventually, so you have to find a way to get up there."
The Panthers will get another crack at the Capers and show what they've learned when they meet again next Saturday in Cape Breton. Game time is 3 p.m.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan