Wolfville, Nova Scotia – A rainy afternoon on the Acadia University turf saw the Mount Allison women’s soccer team take on the Acadia Axewomen. In a back-and-forth affair where both teams shared chances and possession, the Mounties came up short by a score of 4-1. This was the second meeting of the year between the two sides, with the first one going to Acadia by a score of 2-1. It was a physical affair in front of a large crowd in Wolfville.
The Mounties started the game quickly with forward Amanda Volcko making the game’s first shot, striking the ball hard at the top-right corner with the Acadia keeper just able to push it over the bar. After this Acadia dominated possession for a period, leading to their first goal in the tenth minute. The long cross was slightly misplayed by the Mounties backline and a short clear resulted in a strong volley by the Acadia forward that Mounties keeper Tessa Ritchie couldn’t quite push over the bar.
After the opening goal the Mounties made a push to find the equalizer with strong possession resulting in shots from forwards Volcko and Myranda Weild. Both were unable to beat the Acadia keeper. The Axewomen countered, and in the 20th minute a scrambled play in the Mounties box had the ball find a fortunately placed Acadian midfielder whose low strike just beat keeper Ritchie. Despite a diving effort, this put the Axewomen ahead two to zero.
There was a lengthy delay in the game as an Axewomen player had to be helped off the field and was unable to return because of a head-on-head collision as the two players were attempting a header. After this Acadia scored their third goal of the game on a high corner kick from the left of the Mountie goal, which was headed in by a leaping Axewomen player in minute 33.
This did not phase the Mounties for the rest of the half as they rallied and pushed the ball deep into the Acadia half. Winning a corner in the minute 39, Volcko stepped up and delivered a high ball into the box. The Acadia keeper attempted to clear, punching the ball out of the eight yard box. The ball landed on the foot of Mounties midfielder Claire Neufield. Neufield showed great skill with a hard strike on the volley into the bottom right corner, cutting the Acadia lead to 3-1.
This goal seemed to spark the Mounties, as they dominated possession for the rest of the first half. In stoppage time of the first half, Mounties midfielder Emily van Diepen sent a perfect free kick into the Acadia 18-yard box which was stuck for a goal by the Mounties. Unfortunately, on what was a questionable offside call, the goal was called back and the whistle for halftime soon came, halting the Mounties’ building momentum.
The second half began with the Mounties holding the ball and using the sidelines to their advantage moving deliberately up the field. The Mounties were unable to capitalize on these opportunities and saw possession swing back in favour of the Axewomen. The Mounties could not score in the second half but strong play by the Mounties backline kept the Axewomen down until the final minute of play, when Acadia scored to make it 4-1.
This is a disappointing score line for the Mounties, after previously having kept it closer in the two teams’ previous matchup. All in all, the Mounties played a decent game. A few minor mistakes led to the Acadia goals and a strong performance by many different players should give confidence leading into the remaining games of the season. Though every player had their moments throughout the game, key performers seemed to be goal-scorer Claire Neufield, who came on as a first-half sub and made a quick impact. Others were Amanda Volcko, who recorded two shots and was a threat all game, and Emily van Diepen, who was a steadying influence in the middle with many key clears and tackles. Along the backline a standout performance was shown by Gillian Tetlow, who was returning to the starting lineup after an absence. She from her left back position held the Acadian forwards at bay down her side in one-on-one situations and recording key blocks, clears and tackles.
The Mounties look to bounce back with two games next weekend. Their first is on Alumni Field 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 against the UPEI Panthers. They then travel to UNB Sunday to battle the Varsity Reds.