X-Women shutout Panthers 1-0

Courtesy Andrew Barkhouse
Courtesy Andrew Barkhouse

Antigonish, N.S. - The StFX X-Women (1-0) soccer team opened the Atlantic University Sport regular season with a 1-0 victory over the UPEI Panthers (0-1) Saturday afternoon at StFX Stadium.

Freshman Paytan Ruiz (Pictou, NS) notched the game-winner, in the 47th minute, after collecting a rebound in tight and depositing it behind Panther goalkeeper Amanda Stanyer (Port Coquitlam, BC). Senior forward Logan Lee-Knight (Calgary, AB) started the attack, causing a turnover and then ringing a shot off the goalpost, which Ruiz collected and then made no mistake. The goal was her first one in an X-Women uniform.

In a scoreless first half, the X-Women had the bulk of the possession, but they could not take the lead.

The first quality scoring chance went to StFX, when first-year midfielder Mercy Myles (Accra, Ghana) threaded the needle to Lee-Knight, whose left-footed attempt trickled just wide of the far post behind Stanyer.

At the 30-minute mark, off an X-Women free kick from defender Elise Brennan (Brookside, NS), sophomore Amy Rowe (Aurora, ON) soared for a header, but Stanyer was able to make the stop.

In the 35th minute, the Panthers created their best opportunity, when X-Women keeper Erin Visser (Whitby,ON) had to dive to her left to gobble up a hard, long shot from fullback Jennifer Balderston (Cornwall, ON).

With the first half winding down, Myles picked up a loose ball at the top of the Panther box, before ripping a left-footed volley that rang off the goalpost behind Stanyer.

Early in the second half, Lee-Knight garnered back-to-back scoring chances, including one on a set-up from fifth-year senior midfielder Alix Bruch (Calgary, AB).

In the 62nd minute, Myles came close to doubling the X-Women's advantage, when she boomed a shot from 30 yards just over the crossbar.

The Panthers best opportunity to knot the contest came in the 72nd minute, when Tyffanie Bordage (Acadie Siding, NB) fed Jerika Gimpel (Alliston, ON), but Visser, who earned the shutout, made a diving stop to protect the X-Women lead.

Senior defender Olivia Wilkie (Rosemere, QC) earned Subway player of the match honours, while Stanyer was named Panther player of the game.

The Panthers return to action Sunday, in Sydney, when they face the Cape Breton University Capers, while the X-Women will be back on home turf to battle the visiting UNB Varsity Reds.

Both matches will kick-off at 1 p.m.