Axewomen edge X-Women 1-0 in AUS final

Photo credit Vaughan Merchant
Photo credit Vaughan Merchant

Sydney, NS – The third seeded Acadia Axewomen defeated the fourth seeded STFX X-Women 1-0 in the Subway AUS championship game on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Cape Breton Field.

With the win the Axewomen move on to the U SPORTS national championship being hosted at the same Cape Breton venue November 18-21. The host Cape Breton squad earned the second AUS berth in the eight-team event as the host team.

The victory was the first AUS title for Acadia since 1996, and their seventh overall title in team history.

The strong Axewomen defense was the difference in the game as the X-Women could not penetrate though and secure any goals in their favour.

STFX applied pressure in the opening 10 minutes but couldn't generate any significant shots on goal aside from a corner kick by Amanda Smith that was picked out of the air by Acadia goalkeeper Melina Ramirez.

Both sides were solid defensively early on as they settled in and tackled their nerves in the all-important match.

A second Smith corner kick hit the cross bar and bounced back into play, finding its way to Caitlin Crichton whose shot sailed over the Axewomen cross bar.

Acadia's first scoring opportunity in the game resulted in a goal as Grace Longley re-directed a crossed ball from Meghan Johnston who had a nice run up the wing. X-Women keeper Christina Gentile had no chance on the re-directed one-timer off the extended foot of Longley in the 18-yard box that came 35 minutes in.

The 1-0 Axewomen lead held up through to halftime, and would prove to be all they needed to secure the victory.

In the second half Johnston was dangerous again early on as she had another good cross in the 48th minute to the near side of the X-Women post but Gentile was able to steer the ball away.

The teams then settled into a defensive battle for the next 15 minutes as defenders on both squads did their jobs in shutting down offensive chances and through balls of their opponent. AUS all-star defender Lauren Joudrey was strong on the Axewomen backline.

Grace Somers had a nice cross in the 73rd minute for Acadia to the front of the X net as the ball ping ponged off a couple of STFX defenders and was then cleared.

Four minutes later the Axewomen thought they had scored their second goal of the game but it was called back offside.

The X-Women kept trying to press for the equalizer but continued to be turned aside by the strong Acadia defense.

Smith had chance for the X-Women in the 83rd minute off an Emma Steen direct kick, but her headed ball was saved by Ramirez. Another shot by Smith in the 89th minute trickled across the Axewomen crease and out of play.

But the chances and the time on the clock ran out for the X-Women as the Axewomen held on for the championship 1-0 win.

Smith earned Subway player of the game honours for the X-Women, while goal scorer Longley took home both Subway player of the game and tournament MVP accolades for Acadia.

The Axewomen will be back in Sydney from November 18-21 for the U SPORTS national championship.


Courtesy Krista McKenna, STFX Athletics