Essome Penda's penalty kick lifts Carabins into U Sports soccer semis

·3 min read

OTTAWA — Guy-Frank Essome Penda’s penalty strike in a shootout propelled the Montreal Carabins to a 2-1 victory over the Victoria Vikes and into the semifinals of the U Sports men's soccer championships on Thursday.

In a game that took 120 minutes and the shootout to decide, Montreal edged Victoria 4-3 on penalty kicks.

After a scoreless first half, Vikes forward Ian Whibley found an open Isaac Koch in the box, and the fifth-year senior one-timed the low, hard shot under a diving Felix Goulet for a 1-0 Victoria lead.

The Carabins finally got on the scoreboard in the 80th minute when first-year forward Alexis Stevens took a pass in close to shoot over the 'keeper.

Both teams had excellent scoring chances in overtime, but failed to convert, sending the game to a shootout.

Tied in penalty kicks through the first four players apiece, Victoria's Matteo Ventura was stopped on a low drive to the left, setting up Essome-Penda, the 2021 U Sports player of the year. He slotted into the bottom right corner.

Montreal will take on Guelph in the first semifinal on Saturday.

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GRYPHONS 2, HUSKIES 0

Owen McKee and Alex Zis scored to lead the Guelph Gryphons to a 2-0 win over the Saint Mary's Huskies.

The OUA champion Gryphons, who entered the national tournament as the only undefeated team left in the country, got on the scoreboard in the 37th minute when Jack Sears' low drive at the net landed on the foot of McKee. The rookie finished with a tap-in from two yards out.

The Huskies were reduced to 10 players when senior defender Kwaku Korankye picked up his second yellow card and was ejected.

Zis put the game out of reach in the 73rd minute, cutting past his defender before launching a hard shot from outside the box.

Guelph 'keeper Svyatoslav Artemenko earned his third consecutive playoff shutout.

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CAPERS 3, LAVAL 2

Charlie Waters scored twice, and Kairo Coore got the game-winner in overtime to lead the Cape Breton Capers to a victory over Laval, fortheir fifth consecutive national semifinal appearance.

Coore, a second team all-Canadian, scored in the 116th minute after a second-half comeback by Laval.

The Capers scored in the game's fifth minute when Daniel Williams was taken down in the box. Waters buried the ensuing penalty kick.

The Capers doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Waters scored from 30 yards out, a missile into the top left corner.

The Rouge et Or piled on the pressure and were rewarded in the 74th minute with a goal from midfielder Baptiste Toussaint.

Laval continued to dominate possession, and after numerous scoring chances, tied the game on the final play of regulation when Jean-Philippe Levesque gathered the ball in the 18-yard box and volleyed it past Capers 'keeper Daniel Clarke.

Coore took a nice pass from Waters, took several dribbles, before scoring the winner in OT.

The Capers face the Carleton Ravens in the semifinals.

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RAVENS 3, THUNDERBIRDS 2

Tareq Hamad scored twice as Carleton rallied to to beat UBC in a shootout.

UBC led 2-0 on first-half goals from Nick Fussell and Nicholas Momotani before Carleton replied with a pair of goals to force overtime.

Gabriel Bitar broke through in the 60th minute to put the Ravens on the scoreboard. Only seven minutes later, Hamad connected on a header into the bottom corner to beat UBC 'keeper Bennett McKay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18. 2021.

The Canadian Press

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