Antigonish, NS - On a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Oland Stadium, the Sea-Hawks and X-Women played out an absorbing 0-0 scoreless draw of over 90 minutes filled with great passing and tight defending. For those who look at the box score of this afternoon's game to see a nil-nil score line and assume it was a rather dull affair, they are mistaken.
The two rookie keepers, Emma Kuzmyk (Cookstown, ON) for StFX and Sydney Wilson (St. John's, NL) for Memorial, must have been a bit nervous, knowing the calibre of players they would face, but both played like seasoned veterans in the crease. Walsh spilled a couple of shots, but recovered well and X could not take advantage of the mishaps.
Kuzmyk had the unenviable task of facing the formidable forwards of Jessie Noseworthy (St. John's, NL), Nicole Torraville (St. John's, NL) and Jane Pope (St. John's, NL). Pope was especially dangerous, with a number of darting runs into the box and made a number of nice passes throughout the match. Kuzmyk was ably assisted by StFX's back three, with central defender Amy Rowe (Aurara, ON), earning Subway Player of the Game honors.
The X-Women duo of Chloe and Elise Brennan (Brookside, NS) were threatening all afternoon, and had a number of nice give-and-go passes down the flanks. Often Mercy Miles (Accra, Ghana) and Kelsey Ellis (Ottawa, ON) found themselves the recipients of nice passes, but no X-Woman could unlock the Memorial defence.
On more than one occasion Claire Skanes (St. John's, NL), the Sea-Hawks player of the game, perfectly anticipated the play and used the intercepted X pass to send the Sea-Hawks on the counter-attack.
StFX's Larissa White (Westphal, NS) was composed on the ball in midfield and always looked to create offensive chances, but Memorial midfielder Lauren Taylor (St. John's NL) put in a strong defensive performance for the visitors.
The first half was one of alternating momentum, with each team having sustained periods of possession, but neither team could convert their pressure into a goal. In the second half, the X-Women had more of the ball and, it must be said, should have converted on at least one of their chances, but it was not to be. The game ended, appropriately, honours even.
StFX will next face Cape Breton on Friday, September 29th at 5 p.m. in Antigonish to kick-off StFX Homecoming weekend.
Memorial will host UNB next Saturday, September 30th in St. John's.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Athletics communications