It was an unforgettable, record-shattering performance for Ally Rowe on Sunday afternoon in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s soccer action.
The senior striker from Kitchener, Ontario scored not one, but two hat-tricks for the Cape Breton University Capers as they cruised to a dominant 6-0 victory over the host Mount Allison Mounties.
“I thought I had a great performance today – connecting passes and staying involved in the play, as well as moving the ball up the field for through balls to my teammates,” says Rowe. “It feels great to just see things come together, with the build-up from the team and a great finish. It also feels great to have set some records today.”
Veteran CBU head coach,Stephen ‘Ness’ Timmons, described her effort as truly outstanding. “It is the best offensive performance I have witnessed,” he says. “Ally is always the most tightly marked player on the field. She was brilliant today.”
The six-goal explosion for the 2022 conference player of the year and first-team All-Canadian broke an almost two-decade-old mark set in 2005 by UPEI’s Tessa Roche (five).
Rowe, who came into the match with 13 goals, also shattered the single season AUS record set in 2014 by Caper legend Dr. Karolyn Blain (16).
With two games remaining in her fourth AUS campaign, she has 49 goals in her career, with a potential fifth conference season on the horizon. In a sensational five-year stint with the Capers, Blain notched 53 goals. So, that all-time mark is well within striking distance for the dynamic forward and CBU team leader.
“At the start – coming in as a rookie to CBU – the first time I met Karolyn Blain, I told her I was going to beat her record, and I am glad I could live up to my word.”
And, heading into the final weekend of the 2023 AUS regular season, Rowe is second in USPORTS in both goals and points.
“All in all, it is a team effort, and I couldn’t do it without my team; hyping me up, working hard – on an off the field – to make ourselves better and coming together on the pitch to play our best game.”
Rowe, who was a perfect six-for-six – when it came to shots on goal that found the back of the net, opened the scoring in the fifth minute on an assist from sophomore midfielder Grace Hannaford (Enfield, NS), who had two helpers in the contest.
Less than two minutes later, on an assist from Amy-Anne Ndiaye (Ile-Bizard, QC) – who had three helpers, Rowe extended the CBU edge to 2-0.
With two more tallies from Rowe – in the 18th and 34th minutes – the Capers’ lead mushroomed to 4-0 at halftime.
Finishing with flair in the second half, Rowe’s final two record-setting goals came in stoppage time.
Freshman forward Leah Disipio (Ottawa, ON) also notched an assist for the visitors.
Rowe collected eight out of 16 shots for the Capers, while freshman goalkeeper Ellie Lancaster (Fall River, NS) – with two saves – recorded the win and her conference-best fifth shutout of the regular season.
“Ally can score in any number of ways, and she showed that today,” Timmons said.
Noting how scoring six goals in one match is “unheard of,” he added, “But the way she scored them was just as impressive.”
Truly a game for the ages.
“Again, I don’t know if I have ever seen a more impressive performance – it was magical,” Timmons said.
The CBU squads will wrap up the conference regular season with a road swing through New Brunswick, starting with a stop in Fredericton to play the UNB Reds at 5 p.m. ADT on Friday, October 20, followed by visit to Moncton to face Les Aigles Bleues on Saturday, October 21, at 2 p.m. ADT.
The Capers, defending conference champions, will be back on home turf when they host the 2023 AUS soccer championships, from October 26-29.