After Extra time: University of Montreal Carabins 2-1 Cape Breton Capers
Three in a row, that is how many years that the University of Montreal Carabins have found themselves in U Sports men’s soccer championship final, Although this time, the process has felt a little different.
They punched their ticket to the final in thrilling fashion on Friday night, defeating the number one ranked Cape Breton Capers 2-1 after 120 minutes of play.
In front of their raucous crowd, the Carabin put on a match that will go down in school history, while also achieving a number of milestones in the process.
The first and most important milestone for those involved with hosting the tournament and the fans of the Carabins is the fact that this is the first time that they have made the final on home turf. Setting them up for a possible home championship; which if they do hoist the trophy, will be the first time a host has won since 2015 when the York Lions won. ]
Not only are they the first hosts to advance to the championship in the last few years, but they also achieved the first all Quebec final in the last decade. It was 2009 when Laval defeated McGill, however that championship was held in British Cumbia. Sunday’s final will be the first time two Quebecois teams have ever faced off for a championship in their home province.
It’s fair to say the Carabins were exhilarated following their victory, although the same cannot be said of the losing side, the Cape Breton Capers.
Following yet another undefeated season, where they set records both on the pitch and off with attendance, the Capers failed to advance to their third consecutive final.
As for the actual semi-final between the Capers and Carabins, the game captured the eyes of everybody in U Sports, and the level of play on the field was nearly intoxicating for the observer.
The Capers had a chance to open the scoring early, but their penalty shot was foiled by home netminder Felix Boulet. Although that was their best chance in regulation time, they peppered the net throughout the 90. By the end of 90 minutes, they had forced Boulet into seven saves.
It took until the 105th minute for the draw to be broken, and it was a penalty that did so. Montreal’s Omar Kreim fired the ball past the Cape Breton netminder to put the home side in front and send the crowd into a frigid frenzy.
Goals were exchanged in the last 15 minutes, but it was the home side who came out on top. Breaking records, making history, and giving themselves yet another shot at a Canadian national championship.
After the win, The Carabins have set up an all-Quebec final showdown with the UQTR Patriotes for the 2019 U SPORTS championship Sunday, in a rematch of last week’s RSEQ final won by Montreal. As for the Capers, they will take on Carleton in the bronze medal match prior to the final;