Written by Carleton Sports Information
Photo by Valerie Wutti
NORTH BAY, ON — Carleton extended its impressive unbeaten run to ten games on Sunday afternoon with a 1-1 draw against the Nipissing Lakers.
Despite conceding a goal late in regulation and missing out on a full three points to close out its Northern Ontario road trip, Carleton still controls its playoff destiny heading into the final weekend of the regular season.
The Ravens got off to an exceptional start against the Lakers, as their pressure in the offensive zone provided them with a corner kick. Defender Julian Piccioli (Ottawa, ON) set up the first goal when his set piece fell to midfielder Walker Smith (Ottawa, ON), who half-volleyed the loose ball past the Nipissing keeper in the 4th minute for a 1-0 lead.
Carleton continued to put the heat on up front, narrowly missing a second goal with a post strike just a few minutes after the opening tally. The Ravens would receive further chances, but two clear-cut breakaways yielded no goals, as a lack of finishing hampered Carleton’s ability to blow the game wide open.
Trailing to begin the second half, Nipissing came out with a bit more fire, but Ravens keeper David Monk (Oakville, ON) remained composed in the Carleton goal. The Lakers’ long-ball style saw the Ravens defenders going on long sprints against the Nipissing strikers, but the back line remained unfazed.
In the 88th minute, Carleton’s players let their guard down for only a brief moment, but it turned out to be a costly mistake. A Nipissing free kick from half was lost in the mad scramble of bodies in front of the 18-yard box, leaving Monk stranded out of the goal. Laker Alexander Nero capitalized on the error to gain his side a valuable point.
With several starters sitting this one out as a precaution, Carleton relied on its deep bench for support. The standout performer of the day was Abdul Akinwande (Ottawa, ON), who made the most of his first start of the season with an energetic ninety minutes of play.
Carleton will head down to Toronto next weekend for a pair of games against the OUA East’s top two teams – Ryerson and Toronto. The Ravens sit two points behind the Varsity Blues in the standings, but a win would guarantee Carleton a first-round playoff bye since they have a game in hand over Toronto.
RAVENS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
#13 Abdul Akinwande – Midfielder – 2nd year – Ottawa, ON
Carleton at Toronto
Saturday, October 22, 2016 – 3:15 p.m.
Varsity Centre – Toronto, ON