Two wins and a draw see MUN push unbeaten run to five
If you offered women’s Sea-Hawks soccer head coach Mike Power seven points from a possible nine in what is generally regarded as the toughest road trip of the year, he’s likely to have accepted in a heartbeat. The Sea-Hawks did more than survive their annual three-game stint in Nova Scotia—they thrived. Though they allowed the Acadia Axewomen to come from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw in their first game of the series, convincing wins over Dalhousie (2-1) and St. Mary’s (3-0) sent a statement to the rest of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference that the title banner is still Memorial’s, and they’re eager to retain it.
On Friday, sophomore Emily Bailey was in her usual sensational goal-scoring form, and gave the visiting Sea-Hawks the lead with a stellar goal just 11 minutes in, after Jane Pope provided the service. The contest ebbed and flowed back and forth throughout, with both teams seeing chances go a-begging in the first half. Keira Eavis, starting over last year’s top shot-stopper Hannah Noseworthy, performed admirably, turning away what few shots leaked through her sure-footed defense. However, the side was caught napping shortly after the break by Mount Pearl ex-pat Meghan Earle, who slotted home to level the score. Though MUN shifted gears after the wake-up call, and re-doubled their scoring efforts, Axewomen goalkeeper Emma Connell stood firm, forcing Power’s Lady-Hawks to settle for a share of the spoils when they looked set to be taking the lot.
Against the Dalhousie Tigers the following evening, it was Memorial who found themselves with an early hill to climb. Shortly before the half hour mark, Shea Jeffrey-Novak turned on her defender, firing past Eavis, who again got the goalkeeping nomination for the Sea-Hawks, to make it 1-0. Memorial again composed themselves and mustered a good response, culminating in Jesse Noseworthy’s equalizing answer six minutes before half. Noseworthy’s blistering speed enabled her to get a clear shot, and she made no mistake. Keeping the tempo was challenging for the Sea-Hawks, who looked to gain control of the center of the field all game, often struggling to operate in the middle third. When it seemed as if MUN might be headed for its second draw in two days, Bailey was again able to make the difference, scoring a beauty in the 82nd to decide the contest in Memorial’s favor. Besides the goal, Eavis had only one other save to make, a comfortable one, notching her second win in red and white.
The Sea-Hawks showed marked improvement in their second outing, and built upon the foundation again with their dominating victory over the St. Mary’s Huskies on Sunday. Teri Murphy opened the scoring and her account for the season in the fifth with a solid effort, followed by markers from Noseworthy and veteran Alexe Morgan, all in the first half. With her goal, Noseworthy creeps onto the AUS top scorers list with five, and looks to show no signs of slowing down, while last year’s top netting rookie Bailey (three) is not far behind. Meanwhile, Hannah Noseworthy, took the gloves from Eavis for this one and did not miss a beat—she made just one save in a comprehensive shutout outing.|
The positive results are great news for Memorial (3-0-2) who return home as one of just two unbeaten teams in the conference, sitting just behind the Cape Breton Capers (4-1-1), who are next in the firing line, with a game in hand on the Capers.
Next up for the Lady-Hawks are a pair of home games at King George V vs. the Cape Breton Capers. Kickoffs at 1 PM October 3 and 11 AM October 4.