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Women's Voyageurs Cup West Match 3: Edm vs Van [R]


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<center>Women's Voyageurs Cup West 2004

Match 3Edmonton Aviators vs. Vancouver WhitecapsTuesday, June 15, 2004 - 6:00 PM MDT

Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton</center>

Match Previews


   » WVCW:  0-0-1  0-2  0  /  W-League:  3-1-3  8-8  10

   » Aviators media release


   » WVCW:  2-0-0  7-0  6  /  W-League:  2-1-0  9-2  7

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From The Edmonton Sun:

Whitecaps down Aviators


Different time, different place, but the same result. The Edmonton Aviators had hoped to cook up a big batch of revenge in a rematch with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

It was a dish they'd waited to prepare since a May 23 loss on the coast, but the concoction was a half-baked recipe that with the chefs confusing salt for sugar.

The Caps registered a 3-1 win over the Avs in W-League play at Commonwealth Stadium last night.

Despite the much-awaited presence of all three recruits from the Canadian under-19 team - surprising starting assignments for the trio of Stephanie Labbe, Selenia Iachelli and Aysha Jamani - the Aviators (3-4-1) came up short in their attempt to prove they are on par with the Whitecaps (3-0-1). The Minor Soccer Night crowd was a season-high but still a disappointing 3,453 at Commonwealth.

"I feel deep down inside everyone knows we can compete with this team, we can keep it closer and maybe even win," said Labbe, whose first touch of the ball as an Aviator was a terrific lunging save before the game was even 10 minutes old.

"A little extra effort will help us a lot. They were a little more determined to win the ball. We were there but we just weren't making that extra effort to win the ball."

For Labbe, a Spruce Grove product, the game was a disappointing homecoming. For Kara Lang, the face of Canadian women's soccer, it was a sweet return to the building where she lead the national under-19 team to the gold-medal match of the 2002 world championship.

"I always love coming back to Edmonton. Such great memories and such an awesome experience," said Lang, who played 65 minutes in the midfield after toiling on defence for Canada two weeks ago during a successful run at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2004 world U-19 championship.

Lang and Iachelli, who were both being eyed from stands by national U-19 coach Ian Bridge, walked onto the field together for the pre-game warmup but the friendship went on hiatus at kickoff.

"Me and Selenia are definitely really close but at this level as soon as you get on the pitch you've got to forget about that kind of stuff. It's a competition no matter what."

Lang made the most out of a harmless-looking play in the 25th minute when she turned Yvonne Northover inside-out and put the ball into the box from 30 yards out. Amber Allan shed defender Kristie Tokunaga, wheeled and lifted a shot over Labbe.

Labbe held Edmonton in moments later when she robbed Allen who'd escaped at the top of the box and tried her luck from 10 yards out.

Vancouver didn't waste any time digging a deeper hole for the home side as Allan turned playmaker just nine minutes into the second half. The Whitecaps forward sent a perfect chip to the far post leaving Martina Franko a simple tap-in header.

Iachelli gave the Aviators a late lift when her pass was coralled by Carey Gustafson and she slotted the ball behind Erin McLeod in the 77th minute on a play that looked miles offside.

"You have no idea how sweet it is. I just wish it had been the game-winning goal," said Gustafson, who spent the last two seasons as a reserve in Vancouver.

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"Iachelli gave the Aviators a late lift when her pass was coralled by Carey Gustafson and she slotted the ball behind Erin McLeod in the 77th minute on a play that looked miles offside."

Doesn't matter what it looked like to Zerr... Sasha Andrews (nowhere near the play) didn't push up when her teamates played the trap and kept Gustafson onside.

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