Antigonish, N.S. - The StFX X-Women (1-0-1) and the UNB Varsity Reds (0-1-1) played to a 2-2 draw in Atlantic University Sport soccer action Sunday afternoon at StFX Oland Stadium.
In a high scoring and fast paced opening half, the X-Women exerted the initial offensive pressure, which led to a corner kick opportunity in the first minute. Off the set piece, freshman midfielder Mercy Myles (Accra, Ghana) took a feed from junior midfielder Chloe Brennan (Brookside, NS), before ripping a strike short side, but UNB goalkeeper Rebecca Duda (Halifax, NS) made a great soaring stop with her right hand.
In the fifth minute, Duda climbed the ladder to punch away an X-Women cross into the box to keep it scoreless.
With StFX carrying the play in the early going, UNB garnered their first scoring change off the counter attack, when senior striker Lauren Cubbon (Saskatoon, SK) sent fifth-year fullback Laura McNicholas (Doncaster, UK) in behind the X-Women defenders. She made no mistake - making it 1-0 by putting a shot behind StFX senior goalkeeper Nicole MacDonald (Kanata, ON).
In pursuit of the equalizer, Chloe Brennan garnered a quality opportunity, in the 17th minute, when she put a couple moves on the UNB defender before blistering a strike towards the far corner, but Duda lunged to her left to deflect the shot wide.
After fifth-year senior midfielder Alix Bruch (Calgary, AB) rang a shot off the goal post, the X-Women received a penalty kick off a Varsity Reds hand ball. On that opportunity, Myles scored her first AUS marker, in the 20th minute, when she put her strike inside the left post beyond the outstretched hand of Duda.
Just a couple minutes later, MacNicholas almost scored her second of the match, but her shot just missed behind MacDonald.
In the 25th minute, the Varsity Reds regained the lead, when freshman midfielder Cienna Thomas (London, ON) bested MacDonald with a left-footed shot that found the top corner under the cross bar.
Less than one minute later, Bruch knotted the contest, with a low shot along the turf that beat Duda just inside the far goal post. The X-Women midfielder freed herself for the chance after making a series of moves on the UNB defense.
In the 38th minute, Bruch found Chloe Brennan, who ripped a strike just over the crossbar from 25 yards out.
A few minutes later, off a corner kick by Elise Brennan (Brookside, NS), Bruch's header from inside the box sailed high and wide.
In the closing seconds before intermission, Bruch picked up a bouncing ball off a lead pass from Olivia Wilkie (Rosemere, QC), but she couldn't find the target with her header.
In a scoreless second half, the X-Women came up empty on a couple deep free-kick chances, with rookie fullback Clarisse Ramirez (Ottawa, ON) getting the first UNB opportunity, in the 75 minute, but her left-footed shot trickled wide.
In the 88th minute, sophomore forward Kelsey Ellis (Ottawa, ON) garnered the best final chance, for either side, when she got behind the UNB defenders, but Duda slid out to corral the rolling ball.
The players of the game were Myles (X) and Duda (UNB).
The X-Women will return to the pitch Saturday, Sept. 17, when they travel to Moncton to face Les Aigles Bleues, while the Varsity Reds will host the Memorial University SeaHawks in Fredericton.
Kick-off for both matches is 1 p.m.