(ANTIGONISH, N.S.) The No. 3-seeded Acadia Axewomen won an exciting 1-0 game in a shootout over the No. 2-seeded Memorial Sea-Hawks Friday in the second semi-final matchup of the Subway AUS Women's Soccer Championship.
After 120 minutes of play could not separate the two teams, it came down to penalty kicks to determine the winner. Acadia were flawless from the spot and scored four goals against Memorial's two in the shootout.
The early stages of the first half saw both teams exchange chances with Rachelle Aucoin (Cheticamp, N.S.) testing Sea-Hawks keeper Sydney Walsh (St. John's, N.L.) and Jessie Noseworthy (St. John's, N.L.) forcing Spencer Skinner (Hammonds Plains, N.S.) to make a good save early in the Axewomen net.
As the game settled, Acadia controlled more of the play and had more scoring chances. The trio of Rachel Cunningham (Dartmouth, N.S.), Jacqueline Stevens (Kentville, N.S.) and Jenna Boudreau (Halifax, N.S.) combined well down the right flank for the Axewomen.
Jane Pope (St. John's, N.L.) looked dangerous and with Noseworthy provided a few close chances for the Sea-Hawks.
There were numerous instances of both teams playing counter-attacking soccer with chances for both teams. Acadia's Brittany Taylor (Calgary, Alta.) took a great pass from Katie Ross (Bedford, N.S.) and charged into the 18-yard box to force one of many good saves by Walsh.
Not long after, it was Memorial's turn to have their chance on goal with Holly O'Neill (St. John's, N.L.) playing a ball into Noseworthy which required another solid save by Skinner.
Injury time would see the half end just as it began, with chances for both teams. Acadia was awarded a free kick from about 30 yards out and Katie Ross fired a drive along the deck. The ball found the feet of Boudreau, but Spencer Wilkins (St. John's, N.L.) covered her perfectly and eliminated any chance of Acadia taking the lead.
Memorial then had their opportunity by way of a corner kick taken by Pope. She arced a perfect ball that was initially headed by O'Neill. It was up to Acadia's central defender, Candace Conrad (Dartmouth, N.S.) to clear the danger.
The game remained scoreless at the half.
Just after halftime, the Axewomen were once again the first to threaten. Boudreau had a good first on midfield, then stormed down the field. Her shot, though initially spilled by Walsh, did not yield a rebound chance.
Acadia continued to have the better of possession, with Memorial's best chances coming by way of counter attacks. But neither team was able to solve Walsh nor Skinner after 90 minutes of play.
The overtime's best opportunity belonged to Memorial as Pope put a great ball into the six-yard box. But Emily Bailey was unable to get a good shot on net.
As both teams put forward an extraordinary effort in overtime, a goal was not to be found, forcing the decision to be made in penalty kicks. In the shootout, Acadia was perfect from the spot, while Noseworthy and Torraville were unable to find the mark for Memorial.
The Axewomen now advance to the championship final matchup Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. against the top-seeded and U SPORTS no. 5-ranked Cape Breton Capers. The game will be webcast live at AUStv.ca
Source: Bart Sears for StFX Athletics Communciations