The Dalhousie Tigers women’s soccer team is headed to the 2013 Subway AUS Championship in Moncton this weekend. While that is no surprise, there are sure to be plenty this weekend.
The Tigers enter as the second seed in the tournament with 29 points and have earned a bye to the semifinals. The Cape Breton Capers (9-0-4), who have 31 points sit first in the AUS for the second straight season. The Capers have not lost a game in the regular season for the past two years.
As the two-time defending AUS champions, the Tigers have set the bar pretty high for this year’s squad. Most of the core that helped win last year’s AUS Championship and place fifth at the CIS Championship in Victoria, B.C.
The Tigers have nine wins on the season, but Jack Hutchison’s squad knows that those nine wins mean nothing if they can’t win two more on the weekend. They went 4-0-1 in October and only have only surrendered one goal in a 3-1 win over Memorial.
For graduating players like Bianca Jakisa, Andie Vanderlaan, Lauren Landry, Joanna Blodgett, Daphne Wallace, Monica Diab and keeper Taryn McKenna, this is their last chance to put it all out on the field and show everyone what the Tigers are made of.
The AUS has been and is always full of surprises and this year should be no different. Since 2008, the first seed has never won the women’s soccer championship. Dal won last year after finishing in second place, and in 2011 after finishing third.
The 2008 Cape Breton Capers were the last team to win the championship as a first seed. In fact, the Tigers and the Capers have won 13 out of the last 16 AUS championships.
The Tigers defense has been their biggest strength this season. They’ve allowed an AUS-low eight goals this year, with four of them coming in their first game against CBU. Fifth-year keeper and three-time AUS second team all-star Taryn McKenna is back in net after being sidelined early in the season due to injury and will look to win her third AUS championship in her final year.
Joanna Blodgett and Bianca Jakisa lead the Tigers with five goals apiece and have been key components to a potent Tigers offense which has scored 28 goals in 13 games this year.
The Tigers will play their first game at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 2 at Rocky Stone Field in Moncton, N.B. You can watch the game live at www.AUStv.ca. See the AUS website for complete tournament details and schedule.
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