Late goal by Selkirk salvages the win
by Randy Pascal
All signs pointed to missed opportunities proving costly as the Laurentian Voyageurs women's soccer team failed to find the back of the net in
the opening half of their Saturday encounter with the Nipissing Lakers.
But in an interesting twist of fate, it would be the L.U. women who would enjoy a fortuitious bounce, in spite of the fact the Lakers pushed the pace of
play in the second half, as the Voyageurs blanked the Lakers 1-0 Saturday in Sudbury.
The contest was an entertaining one, despite the absence of goals, as Catherine Rocca, Sarah Sanford and Samantha Selkirk all enjoyed
glorious chances early, only to either miss the mark or be turned aside by Nipissing keeper Mykaela Volpe.
Things were almost as interesting at the other end of the pitch, as Laurentian goaltender Caitlin McNamara roamed the 18 yard box aggressively,
creating for some chaotic flurries as she scrambled back into position, getting some timely help from the Voyageur defenders.
With the Lakers getting the better of the play through segments of the second half, it was Laurentian that broke the ice, as a low shot from Sanford
bounced up and over Volpe, sliding towards the open cage when Selkirk tapped in the only goal of the game.
With the goal being scored in the 84th minute, it was a Nipissing team that played with reckless abandon in the final six to ten minutes, as the
Voyageurs dodged a few bullets in improving their record to 2-3-0.
"I think we lost our composure and we felt the pressure," acknowledged fourth year defender Ally Pilon of Laurentian. "They were pushing on us.
They have strong and skilled forwards, and today I thought we blocked more shots than we ever have before."
A stabilizing presence on a back line that dearly appreciates it, Pilon noted the difference betwween the 2017 edition of the Voyageurs, and the L.U.
rosters in which she has appeared previously.
"It's not very similar at all," she said. "There's not as much experience, for sure, as previous years, but talent-wise, we match up to what we used to
be, and we're working hard." And games like the rivalry that was the first leg of the Riley Gallo Cup go a long way in bringing the newcomers to
starting assignments quickly up to speed.
"It's a really good experience today, just like a playoff game," said Pilon. "I'm really excited about this year. We're doing well and we're gelling.
All of a sudden, it just feels right."
The Voyageurs are back at home next weekend, hosting the RMC (Royal Military College) Paladins (0-4-0) and Queen's Gaels (3-0-1) on back to