MARTIN BAZYL/ COURTESY OF THE VARSITY BLUES

With last season’s leading scorer Natasha Klasios representing Canada at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues’ fourth-year striker Chelsea Cheung led the way with a brace as the Blues women earned a key 3–1 victory over the Nipissing Lakers in their home opener at Varsity Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Cheung’s 56th-minute goal proved to be the game winner. Daniella Cipriano launched a free kick into the 18-yard-box and connected with Cheung, who placed a perfect glancing header off the post and into the back of the opposing net. 

In the 88th minute, the Blues nearly added a fourth goal after Cheung found Erin Kelly beyond Nippising’s backline, but her final strike hit the post. Toronto’s win came as the club fostered an impressive combination play between Cipriano and Nicki Parkes, with the latter attempting to find Cheung or Kelly open for an attempt on goal. 

Parkes struck a left-footed volley into the back of the net in the 85th minute to extend the Blues’ lead to 3–1.

Nipissing opened the scoring in the sixth minute courtesy of Andrea Young, who placed a left-footed strike past Blues’ goalkeeper Vanna Staggolis. The Lakers utilized Young’s speed to put pressure on Toronto’s backline throughout the early stages of the match.

Cheung scored Toronto’s first goal in the 31st minute after she beat Nipissing goalkeeper Mykaela Volpe to a loose ball and tucked her finish into the open goal. 

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