Antigonish, NS – In StFX's final regular season home game and senior day, the StFX X-Women and Memorial Sea-Hawks battled to a 2-2 draw Sunday afternoon.
The first half was a tight affair with both teams showing great skill and intelligence in possession; however, the two goals were result of unnecessary fouls.
StFX opened the scoring in the 13th minute on a goal by Amanda Smith. First year midfielder Talia Morin's (Ottawa, ON) free-kick found the soft foot of Smith who one-touched the ball past keeper Sydney Walsh (St. John's NL).
Memorial quickly went in search of an equalizer and controlled the play for the next number of minutes. StFX found themselves under pressure and as Stacey Hanlon (Portugal Cove, NL) drove with the ball inside the 18-yard box she was fouled on the play. Up stepped veteran Holly O'Neill (St. John's NL) who made no mistake in putting the ball past X keeper Christina Gentiles (Laval, QC).
With little time remaining in the first half Mercy Myles (Accra, Ghana) had a glorious chance to put X back up by a goal. Smith made an excellent run and put a deft past to forward Melanie Belong (Moncton, NB) who laid it off for Myles, whose shot just trickled wide of the Memorial net.
The second half continued to be a back and forth affair with neither team able to gain sustained pressure. It was going to be a case of who could make their period of pressure count.
The Sea-Hawks front two of O'Neill and Hanlon did a great job putting pressure on the StFX back four. Memorial had the first good chance 20 minutes into the half when Hanlon found the impressive Kate Hickey (Outer Cove, NL), but the chance came to naught.
In the 78th minute the Sea-Hawks took the lead off a great corner kick by Lauren Taylor (St. John's, NL) that found the head of Kristyn Lee (Maddox Cove, NL) and the back mesh.
It was now StFX's turn to try to draw level. Larissa White (Westphal, NS) moved up to midfield and made a number of nice plays to create chances, yet a goal was by no means certain.
Two minutes from time, StFX found the tying goal. Belong and Myles worked well near the Sea-Hawks' box before Myles put in a hard pass along the deck into the six-yard box which found the foot of White, who one-touched the ball into the net.
The game continued at a quick pace with both teams looking for the three points. In the game's final minute Memorial were awarded a free kick on the edge of X's 18-yard box. Kristen Jenkins (St John's NL) stepped up to take the kick. Her strike just went over the bar and the spoils were shared between the two evenly matched sides.
Hanlon was named the Player of the Game for Memorial, while StFX's Larissa White earned Subway Player of the Game honours.
With the win, StFX (7-0-4) nows sits in second place in the AUS standings, one point ahead of Cape Breton. They will play their final regular season game in Wolfville, NS against first place Acadia next Friday evening, October 25th.
Sixth place Memorial (4-3-3) have clinched an AUS playoff berth and will close out regular season play by hosting fourth place Dalhousie for a pair of games in St. John's on Friday and Saturday.
The Subway AUS Championship is scheduled for October 31st to November 3rd in Sydney, NS.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information