WOLFVILLE, N.S. - The Acadia Axewomen controlled most of their season home opener on Friday night against the Mount Allison Mounties, taking the game by a score of 4-0.
The Axewomen played an incredible first half, dominating on both offence and defence. They kept possession for the majority of the frame and peppered Mount Allison's goaltender Sophie Austin (Kanata, Ont.) with shots from close and long range. Acadia's own keeper, Sarah Charnock (Newmarket, Ont.), made several key stops early in the game to hold the score at 0-0.
A pair of goals inside the first 20 minutes allowed the Axewomen a 2-0 lead. Both goals came off of pretty assists from Acadia's forwards and gave the Axewomen plenty of confidence early on.
Jenna Boudreau scored the first goal from a great feed from Holly Buckler and Boudreau would respond later with a great setup to Buckler for the 2-0 lead. The home team continued to control the field for the remainder of the half.
Buckler almost added a second goal at two minute mark of the second half, but her shot came out off the crossbar to keep the score at 2-0. Several minutes later, she sent another shot to the top right corner, but Austin was able to make a quick save.
Acadia finally got their third goal off a rebound picked up by Jacqueline Stevens (Kentville, N.S.). The shot, initially taken by Jenna Boudreau, found its way to Stevens, who was alone in front of the net for the tap in.
Mere seconds after the goal from Stevens, Madicynn Harnish (Lower Sackville, N.S.) showed off her impressive kick with a shot from near half. The ball squeezed by Austin for a 4-0 Axewomen lead. Harnish's goal clinched the win for the Axewomen early in the second half and earned her a Subway Player of the Game award.
Harnish says she's pleased with how prepared her team was for their first regular season game.
"I could tell right away from our intensity and energy in the dressing room that everyone was focused and ready to go," Harnish said in a post-game interview. "We were really able to bring all aspects of our game together."
The Axewomen played it safe for the remainder of the game and held onto their 4 goal lead. Throughout 90 minutes of play, Acadia attempted 31 shots while Mount Allison only got off 3 shots. The Mounties simply did not get enough shots on net to compete against the Axewomen.
Mount Allison's defence did their utmost to keep the game within reach, but the offensive strength of Acadia was too much for them to handle. Despite their loss, defender Mackenzie Allen (Pointe De Bute, N.B.) displayed a strong defensive prowess and was named her team's Subway Player of the Game.
After the game, Acadia's head coach Amit Batra praised his team for playing so well despite it being so early in the season.
"We accomplished a lot of the things we wanted to do today, but you can tell that it's our first game," says Batra. "It's expected that there will be things we can improve on. That being said, we're pretty happy with how we're playing at this point in the season."
Acadia's team is scheduled to travel to Dalhousie this Sunday for a match at 1 PM, although severe weather may postpone the game to a later date.
The Mounties host the team from Moncton on Sunday, weather pending.