By Corey LeBlanc - Sydney, N.S. – Junior defender Meghan Johnston (Dartmouth, N.S.) tallied the game-winning goal in the 114th minute as the Acadia Axewomen scored a 2-1 overtime victory over the host Cape Breton University (CBU) Capers in the second AUS women's soccer semi-final match on Friday evening.
After making a run, forward Jayden Boudreau (Halifax, N.S.) made a left-footed cross that Johnston deposited behind conference first-team all-star goalkeeper Haley Kardas (Halifax, N.S.).
"We are so excited – we worked so hard for this [win] and we are so pumped," Subway player of the game freshman forward Alli Kelly (Halifax, N.S.) said in a post-match interview.
In the opening half, the Capers garnered the first scoring opportunity with Fatou Ndiaye (Pierrefonds, QC) making the cross to Erin Freeman (Halifax, N.S.) whose shot sailed over the crossbar.
Both teams collected free and corner-kick chances, but they came up empty.
In the 30th, Jayden Boudreau (Halifax, N.S.), with a strike from 20 yards out, tested AUS first-team all-star Haley Kardas (Halifax, N.S.), but she dove to her left and made the save.
Three minutes later, Caleigh MacPherson (Lingan, N.S.) curled in a high shot that Acadia goalkeeper Milena Ramirez (New Minas, N.S.) kept out while banging into her left goal post.
Ndiaye ripped a blast – off a feed from Alliyah Rowe (Kitchener, ON) – but Ramirez got her right hand on the ball and deflected it over the crossbar.
Late in the first half, with the Capers pressing, Rebecca Lambke (Antigonish, N.S.) made a nifty run before testing Ramirez with a shot, who made a diving stop on the short side.
Off a corner kick by Ally Wilton (Bedford, N.S.), Rowe – a conference first-team all-star – put a header on goal, but she could not find the back of the net.
In the 52nd minute, Rowe opened the scoring, when she bested Ramirez with a shot to make it 1-0.
Kelly notched the equalizer for Acadia, in the 74th minute, when she ripped a strike inside the far post behind Kardas, after taking a throw-in pass from Rebecca LeBlanc (Sydney, N.S.).
She described getting her first goal of the season as "perfect timing."
Both teams exchanged changes in OT before Johnston's heroics.
The Axewomen will play the STFX X-Women for the AUS banner on Sunday, Nov. 7 – at 1 p.m. AST.
"We have worked so hard, so we are going to do everything that we can to come out on top," Kelly said of the matchup.
Watch the gold-medal match webcast live at AUStv.ca.