Algoma University Women’s Varsity Soccer
Report from Finlandia University (Michigan)
On Sunday, Sept. 23rd, the Algoma University Women’s Varsity Soccer team played Finlandia University of Hancock Michigan. The final score finished 3-0.
The first half ended up 1-0 for Finlandia, truly against the run of play. A few defensive communication errors ended with Finlandia scoring the only goal of the half. Algoma had the majority of the possession and failed to capitalize on numerous chances. During half time, Coach Howe reiterated to the players the need to settle down and take more time on the ball and avoid rushing their efforts.
The second half showed a much-improved effort. Opening the scoring was Chelsea Sabourin from a nice series of passes, opening up the Finlandia defense. The keeper saved two initial shots, before Sabourin knocked in the rebound. For the remainder of the match, Algoma dominated the play and was finally rewarded with a penalty shot. Daniella Febbraro converted the penalty and Algoma took the lead. There should have been at least three more goals but the Finlandia goalkeeper was outstanding. The pressure finally paid of when Haley McClure fired in a close range effort, to close the game out at 3-1.
This was the first win for Algoma in its series of exhibition games this fall. Coach Howe noticed great improvement as the exhibition series progressed. “We were looking at these games as an opportunity to look at players and see where we needed to build. It also allowed our players an opportunity to experience soccer at the top level. We have a small squad in numbers and injuries and work schedules have made the process challenging. The players have responded magnificently against experienced teams. We knew that the last game (3-0 loss to Fanshawe) was a turning point. They were ranked 13th in Canada and it gave our team a real boost to stay that close to a deep, experienced squad. The goal of the coaching staff was to improve our defensive play to be able to stay with these teams. We have accomplished that and to beat Finlandia, shows the remarkable growth and confidence of the players, in a very short period of time.
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