Bold brave the rain, vanquish Excalibur

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By Jaden Ho

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold won their second consecutive match with a 4-0 victory over the Trent Excalibur on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Downsview Park. 

The Bold were all over the Excalibur to start Sunday’s match, generating a flurry of chances in the first five minutes. Kaleigh McKye made a pair of quick runs down the right side to create opportunities in the early going. On McKye’s first attempt, a cross into the box evaded all of the Bold attackers and on her second, she was turned aside by Excalibur keeper Imogen Bellinger. 

“Eventually the goal will come, keep doing what we’re doing,” said interim head coach John Yacou. “The idea was to get our wide players on the ball as much as we can because they’re the threat.”

Bold goalkeeper Abby Harrison faced her first shot in the 14th minute, with the Excalibur starting to push back against TMU’s strong start. A Bold turnover left Trent midfielder Molly Steele with some open space. Steele got a shot away from the top of the box, but Harrison made no mistake grabbing the shot and hanging on to keep it a scoreless tie. 

A 20th-minute free-kick from the left side for Trent forward Mariah Shaw tested Harrison once again, as Shaw floated a cross into the box that Harrison elevated to grab with lots of Excalibur attackers threatening the box. 

McKye continued the strong match, generating another great opportunity in the 24th minute. She caught up to a long ball on the left wing and carried it up the side, before firing a sharp angle shot that missed just wide. 

Bold midfielder Brooke Pearson went down with an injury near the half-hour mark, with Alia Serapiglia coming in to replace her. 

Enoyaa Acheampong nearly set up Aalayah Lully for a goal in the 28th minute, with a beautiful cross that beat the Trent defence, but was tapped wide by Lully, who wasn’t able to make solid contact on the shot. 

A great passing play in the 34th minute led to Acheampong putting the ball in the net, but offside was called, keeping the game scoreless late in the first half. It would remain scoreless until the halftime break. 

The Bold finally broke through early in the second half, as Serapiglia received a cross into the box from McKye and beat Bellinger with a quick shot into the left corner of the goal, for Serapiglia’s first goal of the season.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Serapiglia about getting her first of the season. “It’s even more rewarding knowing that we have a great set of girls behind me…so putting it all out on the field and scoring my first goals of the season is a great feeling.”

McKye nearly added her second assist in the 56th minute. After a great run up the right wing, her pass into the middle for Acheampong just bounced away, as the first-year forward was unable to make clean contact with the ball with a wide-open goal.

Vittoria Gallivan had a great look in the box following a cross from the left corner, but her hard shot was blocked by an Excalibur defender. Just seconds later, Ivymae Perez nearly scored her third goal of the season, finding room in the box before she fired a shot over the crossbar.

Perez wouldn’t make the same mistake in the 69th minute, as she found open space to make a run into the box, putting the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal for her third tally in as many games this season. 

“Ivy’s quality,” said interim head coach Yacou post-game. “Very good decision making, technically, probably one of the strongest players in the league and I’m glad that she’s playing with so much confidence because she can score goals.”

Perez did just that three minutes later, once again rolling the ball into the bottom half of the goal to beat Bellinger, making it a 3-0 Bold lead, and giving the midfielder her fourth goal in just three matches to start the season. 

Serapiglia added her second of the game in the 80th minute, with a nice tap over the diving Trent goalkeeper, giving the Bold a 4-0 lead late in the game. 

It remained 4-0 Bold for the remainder of the match, as TMU held on to take their second consecutive victory, improving to 2-1 on the season. 

“It’s the work we do outside of practice,” said Perez. “Coming in extra early to activate, to get some touches in, 1v1 stuff with the coaches, that’s really been making the difference.”

UP NEXT: The Bold look to book another result on Sept. 24 at home against the Carleton Raves. Kick-off is set for 1 p.m. 

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