Guysborough, NS - The Dalhousie Tigers and the StFX X-Women battled to a 1-1 draw in exhibition play Saturday afternoon at the Chedabucto Lifestlye Complex.
The game was a tight affair with both teams showing great skill and composure on the ball. The X-Women, with Shayanne Hedges in midfield, had the better of the offensive chances to start the match. Amanda Smith and Melanie Belong looked dangerous up front for StFX as they searched for the opening goal.
Equally impressive on the defensive side were Dalhousie's central defender Catherine Guevin-Nicoloff and left back Syd Kenney. Guevin-Nicoloff did not put a foot wrong all afternoon as she showed a deft touch on the ball and Kenney was always perfectly positioned to foil any attack or through ball down her flank.
After DAL had absorbed the opening X surge, the Tigers poise and ability began to cause trouble for the X-Women. Maya Venkataraman had two great chances in succession and should consider herself unlucky that her shots found the back of the net as the teams remained scoreless after the opening half of play.
The second-half saw the X-Women once again start the brighter of the two teams. The introduction of the second half substitutes saw the game loosen up ever so slightly, but the game remained a tense affair. StFX's good ball movement continued and an excellent play started by Mercy Miles ended with striker Amanda Smith finishing the play with a well-struck goal four minutes in.
Substitute Larissa White, who slotted in nicely for X at centre back, made a number of fine defensive plays and one particular long ball up to Belong whose strike could have put the X-Women up by two.
Riley Donovan, who started the game, rejoined the action after a short break and gave the Tigers that extra drive that was need as they searched for an equalizer. There was not much sand left in the hour glass when DAL's solid play was rewarded with a goal. Rachelle Lalande initiated the attack into the X half, which ended with a corner kick. The X-Women were unable to clear their lines and Brenna Ketterwell found an open gap to draw the sides level.
Soon after, the Tigers had further chances to earn the victory, but the StFX defence held firm and the game played out to an entertaining 1-1 draw.
The game marks the end of pre-season exhibition play for the X-Women (1-1-1) as they are set to begin AUS regular season play on Friday, September 6th. They will host the UPEI Panthers at 5:00 pm at StFX Stadium.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information