Women's Soccer: Goals in the East, Recovery in the West

The goals are flying in east of Toronto.

Most of the women's soccer storylines are in AUS this week, with a smattering of Canada West upsets and collapses in a conference becoming known for them.

AUS is usually pretty staid, with lots of one-goal games that were never really contests but were too physical to result in any real dominance.

For the second straight week, 3-0 and 4-0 scorelines appeared around the east. UPEI, Dalhousie, and Cape Breton are hardly new to the top of the table, but this kind of dominance is unusual.

Dalhousie, who might have struggled to score after losing Kate MacDonald, Jeanette Huck and Katie Richard, pasted UNB 4-0 in Fredericton. Doriana Homerski scored her second of the year, as did Joanna Blodgett and Rieka Santilli. A 1-0 win in Moncton is less impressive, but puts Dal in a solid third.

Cape Breton, who have been threatening to become a national powerhouse for several years now, are back to winning easily. Tiffany O'Donnell hasn't allowed a goal yet. Karolyne Blain had two against Memorial and one against Acadia, both teams who were showing some promise this year. It was back to earth this weekend, and Blain has four goals in three games.

UPEI are still there, too. Maria Scichilone put another in against Saint Mary's in a 2-0 win. Rookie Emilie Pelletier had two goals in a 4-0 win against Mount Allison on Sunday.

In Canada West, things are complicated as Victoria try to find themselves and Trinity Western put some soul into a much improved weekend. Alberta are just good.

The Pandas nicked a goal just before half-time from Heather Lund when Kayla Michaels' pass sliced open the Victoria back line leaving Lund free to flick a shot over Stephanie Parker.

The Vikes followed up a disappointing loss by losing 2-1 to Saskatchewan at home, putting Victoria in seventh.

The Spartans, meanwhile, played Nikki Wright and Alicia Tesan and it paid off. Tesan set up two goals on the weekend and deploying roughly five forwards seems to have helped TWU's scoring funk, though playing Manitoba and Regina might also have had something to do with that. The Pandas and the Spartans meet next weekend, which should be a good game to watch.

Fraser Valley's strong start was cancelled by a positive road trip from Saskatchewan and the arrival of Alberta in town. It might still have been a better weekend for the Cascade if they hadn't blown a lead in the last five minutes against Saskatchewan, conceding two goals, including the winner in stoppage time.

The Montreal Carabins continue to smash in goals in Quebec. Eva Thouvenot had a hat trick against Sherbrooke, who aren't exactly shabby, in a 4-0 rout. Then they did the same thing the next day to Trois Rivières. Montreal still haven't allowed a goal after four games.

McGill also sit tied atop the RSEQ table, though their weekend was less convincing. The Martlets scored twice in the final 15 against Concordia to avoid an embarrassing home draw. A 1-0 win away to Laval is more predictable, but it doesn't quite match Montreal's output.

The only question left for the Carabins after several strong conference seasons is whether they can avoid their annual November collapse at nationals.

The OUA is its predictable self, by the way. Queen's beat RMC 3-1 and destroyed Trent 6-0. Laurier are in a similar boat, beating McMaster before edging Brock 2-1 having gone down 1-0 at home.

Queen's play Toronto next weekend, which should pretty much be the OUA season. The Varsity Blues are three points back of Queen's, and a win in Kingston is essential for U of T to have any hope of a first place finish. Queen's might find motivation for the game in their number-four national ranking, which seems a bit low for a team walking past opponents right now.

Laurentian are kicking around with a nice 4-2-1 record from seven games. They're strong play (and possibly some voters missing how many games they've played) has led to a number-ten ranking. They'll slip as others catch up in the games, but a playoff space looks possible for the Voyageurs.
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