The Saint Mary's Huskies edged the visiting Mount Allison Mounties 2-1 in AUS Women's Soccer action Saturday afternoon. SMU came back from an early second half miscue, to take the lead in the final 10 minutes and hold on for their first win of the season.
The first half contained few scoring opportunities for either team, but SMU pressed harder, held the ball longer and moved better collectively than their counterparts. Second-year Huskie Julia Dorey (Cole Harbour, NS) led her forwards with some strong pushes and teammate, Anelise Karakostas (Victoria, BC) showed some grace in a tight space on more than one occasion to finesse her way through close coverage and create a few strong attacks. Unfortunately, a minor injury forced her to leave the game in the 31st minute.
The Huskies went into the 2nd half outshooting the Mounties 5-1, but a dribbling blunder from goalkeeper Grace Morrison (Halifax, NS) in the opening minute allowed Mount Allison striker Amanda Piltzmaker (Ottawa, ON) to tap the ball into an empty net and open the score. Piltzmaker was perhaps the most dangerous player for either side this game. A slight-looking forward, she impressed with a number of swift-footed bursts down the wing and powerful long-distance strikes.
Saint Mary's regained composure and began pressing the Mounties defence consistently. The courageous, aggressive goalkeeping of Kaitlyn Strickland led the Mounties' resistance and staved off the Huskies' mounting pressure for a time. But it boiled over in the 78th minute when Anna Erikson (Invermere, BC) took a nice lead from Itai Kuwodza (Harae, Zimbabwe), then muscled her way around the last defender and booted in the equalizer. The defender was bumped to the ground in the process and the Mount Allison bench called for a foul from the sideline, but the referee ruled a fair challenge and the goal stood.
Three minutes later, veteran midfielder Fiorella Morales (Bedford, NS) lobbed what seemed to be an innocuous cross from the far sideline, but Keeper Strickland misjudged it and was barely able to punch it out. It rebounded into the 6-yard-box, where a frenetic game of pinball ensued, ending with Kuwodza ricocheting the ball off the post and over the goal line for a split second before it was kicked back out. The officials signalled goal and the Huskies jumped into the lead, 2-1.
Saint Mary's carried the final minutes of the game and ran out the clock without allowing the Mount Allison offence any decent chances. Both teams will play tomorrow. The Huskies (1-2) are in Wolfville to face Acadia and the Mounties (0-3) will host Cape Breton.
By Ethan Lycan-Lang, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce