(Halifax, NS) – In the final day of AUS regular season play, the Dalhousie Tigers played host to the UPEI Panthers on the Tigers senior day. The game was incredibly important for both of the teams that had identical records coming in. A win by either side would put them into the AUS playoffs. After giving up an early goal, the Tigers were relentless in their pursuit of the equalizer, especially in the second half, but the Panthers defense was able to keep them in it as UPEI came away with a 1-0 win.
The Panthers were able to generate the first offensive chance as a ball deflected into the box for Mohammad Jaber (Halifax, NS) but Jeff Arkin (Bedford, NS) was able to make a great defensive play and get his body in front of the shot to clear it out of the area.
Jaber had another chance just a minute later. Sam Smiley (Stratford, PEI) caught two Tigers defenders playing up on him, and spotted Jaber making a run into the box and put it in a great spot for him to put it home for the first goal of the match.
The Tigers backfield was able to control the pace through the later minutes of play in the first half, but they weren't able to advance the ball into a threatening position.
With under two minutes to go in the half, the Panthers came up the field quickly on a counter attacking rush. Jaber once again had possession just outside the box with options around him, he instead elected to stop and take a shot for the corner. The low ball was able to get past a diving TJ Leopold (Bedford, NS), the Tigers keeper, but it struck the goal post dead in the middle and was cleared away by a Tigers defender.
The referee blew to end the first half with UPEI leading the Tigers 1-0.
The Tigers had the first chance in the second half as Enrico Rodriguez (Halifax, NS) drew a free kick just outside the box on the left. Hassan Alnuwaysir (Riyadh, SAU) stepped up and sent the ball back to the top of the box, but the resulting shot sailed high over the net.
The Tigers were within inches of tying it up when Alnuwaysir sent a corner kick high over the head of the keeper to the defender covering the far post. The clearing attempt was sent straight backwards to the inside of the post but the rebound was cleared away by the Panthers.
Possession was controlled by the Tigers throughout much of the half, putting chance after chance into the box, but Brett Strba (Fall River, NS) was able to handle each of them.
The opportunities were not enough for the Tigers as they couldn't find the equalizer, and the Panthers took the 1-0 victory and secured a trip to the playoffs in Sydney this weekend.
The Subway Player of the Game for the Panthers was Ben Keefe (New Haven, PEI).