(ANTIGONISH, NS) The St FX X-Women scored a 1-0 victory over the UNB Reds on Sunday afternoon.
Amanda Smith's (Ottawa, ON) goal late in the opening half held up as the only one the X-Women needed in the win, despite both squads delivering solid scoring chances throughout the game.
First-year Reds striker Allie Hughes-Goyette (Garibaldi Highland, BC) nearly put the visitors on the board in the opening minutes, beating an X defender down the side and got a decent shot on net, forcing X-Women keeper Alyssa Spridgeon (Whitby, ON) to be sharp and make the save.
Abby Sullivan (Minneapolis, MN) also had a nice shot on goal in the 12thminute.
X's first quality chance came in the 18thminute from All-Canadian Mercy Myles (Accra, Ghana) as she directed a solid shot on net from outside the 18-yard box, but Reds keeper Brynn Nash (Saskatoon, SK) was up to the task.
Myles almost connected with striker Melanie Belong (Moncton, NB) as she stole the ball midfield and fed it to Belong as they both outsprinted the UNB defenders, but Belong's shot went wide.
Sullivan was dangerous for the Reds again minutes later, as her shot in tight to the side of the St FX net deflected off a defender and then the side of the net.
Myles nearly gave the X-Women the lead at the end of the half with a strong shot that just grazed the top of the Reds net. Less than a minute later in extra time, Smith made good on a miscued goal kick to drive the ball past Nash and give the X-Women the 1-0 advantage at half-time.
The second half got more physical as both squads battled for touches and possession of the ball.
UNB created some chances early in the second. Midfielder Eve MacDonald (Fredericton, NB) nearly beat Spridgeon with a solid, low shot but the keeper made the save.
In the 63rdminute it appeared that Madison Goertz (Saskatoon, SK) scored off a corner kick, but the ball curved around to hit the back of the mesh as UNB searched for the equalizer.
The Reds kept up the pressure as veteran Clarisse Ramirez (Ottawa, ON) was strong in the midfield, getting balls through for the forwards.
The St FX defense picked up their play in the latter part of the second half, limiting the Reds' scoring chances.
In the 88thminute, the X-Women came close twice, but couldn't increase their lead, and the Reds nearly scored the equalizer as Cierra Thomas (London, ON) set up Emily Burton (Hammonds Plains, NS) who ripped the ball off the crossbar. It was the last chance for the Reds and the X-Women hung on for the 1-0 win.
Veteran defender Larissa White (Westphal, NS) earned Subway Player of the Game honours.
The Reds, 0-2 to start the season, return to Fredericton for their home-opening weekend.
UNB hosts Memorial on Saturday. Game time is 1:00pm. The Reds host UPEI on Sunday, again a 1:00pm start.
The X-Women visit Halifax on Saturday, and take on Dalhousie.
RECAP BY: Krista McKenna/St FX Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Bryan Kennedy/St FX Athletics