By Thomas Becker
A late goal by Rachelle Lalande was all the Dalhousie Tigers needed, as they earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over the UPEI Panthers.
The fifth-year midfielder delivered the heroics in the 85th minute to deny the home team a much-needed point.
"We just kept pushing and pushing," said Lalande, who was named the Subway Player of the Game. "We needed that goal and we fought until the end to get it."
"I could just hear everyone screaming and cheering when I got it and all I thought was 'get it in the back of the net,'" Lalande said. "It was exciting, but we knew there was plenty of time left and we had to continue to play tight."
UPEI's defence kept a strong Dalhousie offence under wraps for most of the game, but when faced against so much pressure the Panthers eventually broke.
"UPEI defended well all game," Lalande said. "We got lucky to get that scoring opportunity and the three points."
However, the home side's offence — that showed signs of growth in recent games — struggled mightily throughout the contest and reverted back to its conservative style of play with a one forward formation. As a result, the Panthers recorded just a single shot — a free kick that was booted over the net by Jennifer Balderston.
UPEI will most likely have to win all four of their remaining games if a playoff berth is in their future. They'll get a chance to capture one of those wins on Oct. 5 when they travel to Moncton to take on the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleues.
The Tigers, meanwhile, positioned themselves well to contend for a bye with four of their next five games against teams below them in the standings.
"We have to keep playing our game and pushing as hard as we can."