Antigonish, NS - The StFX X-Women defeated the Saint Mary's Huskies Friday evening by a 5-0 score on the strength of an Amanda Smith hat-trick.
The first-half started out as an even affair as both teams found their feet. Mercy Myles (Accra, Ghana) used the ball well for the X-Women as SMU midfield general Fiorella Morales (Bedford, NS) showed a number of fine first touches for the visitors. However, it was not long before the X-Women asserted their dominance in the piece.
Strong pressure by the X-Women forwards gave the Huskies little time and the skill of the X players began to show in possession. Precision passing led to the first goal of the match when the referee had no choice but to point to the spot and award a penalty. Up stepped Amanda Smith (Ottawa, ON) and she calmly deposited the ball into the bottom corner of the net and past Itai Kuwodza (Harare, Zimbabwe) in the game's 16th minute.
The second StFX goal came just over a minute later when it was once again Smith finding the back of the net. The second year X forward found herself in the six-yard box with Alexa Tymkiw (Vernon, BC) marking her closely. Smith shot on the short side of the net and it eluded Kuwodza.
Smith saved her best strike for her third goal of the half. StFX took control of the ball at midfield and Myles placed a perfectly placed through ball for Smith to connect with. After a sublime first to touch put the ball under control, she raced in on net and fired the ball into the far corner.
The 3-0 StFX lead held up through halftime.
The second-half began with a Huskies surge, but the young X-Women side showed their composure as they absorbed the pressure and quickly and reasserted their dominance. Throughout the game the X front three, Smith, Melanie Belong (Moncton, NB) and Birttany Pigat (Barrie, ON), were relentless as they hurried the Huskie players in possession and, when possession was won, showed great skill on the ball.
Their efforts were richly rewarded. Seven minutes into the second half Pigat scored her first of what are sure to be many AUS goals. The play began with Larissa White (Westphal, NS) disrupting a SMU attack before Smith found herself in possession as X moved quickly upfield. She then threaded a pass into the 18-yard box for Pigat. Pigat timed her run perfectly and with the calmest of first touches, one-timed the ball into the net for a highlight reel goal.
StFX's fifth goal came courtesy of Belong two minutes later. The catalyst of the play was X rookie midfielder, Talia Morin (Ottawa, ON), who hit a great strike that found the capable boot of Smith. Smith then made a nice pass to Belong, whose lofted shot went over the outstretched arms of Kuwodza, and high into the net.
The Huskies best chance of the match was off the boot of Genelle Morash (Chester, NS), who was one of the Saint Mary's best performers on the evening. She took a great pass by Morales and put a low drive into the corner, only for Alyssa Spridgeon (Whitby, ON) to make a great glove save. There were also strong displays by Joanna Gorski (Halifax, NS) and rookie Molly McLeod (Kamloops, BC) gave Belong all she could handle down the flank.
With the win, StFX remain undefeated at 4-0-2 while SMU drop to 1-6-0. SMU will face UNB at home tomorrow at 3:00 pm, and StFX return to action Sunday afternoon in Antigonish when they play Universite de Moncton. Game time is 1:00 pm.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information