The Voyageurs earned a hard-fought draw against the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks on Saturday as they scored two unanswered goals to secure the tie.
The first half was dominated by the Ridgebacks. They had greater possession of the ball and more scoring opportunities which would come to fruition when they scored two goals in the opening 20 minutes of the match. The first and second goals came courtesy of Brogyn Tracey and Sarah Foster, respectively.
However, in the 32nd minute, the Voyageurs' fortunes would turn when a nice through ball to Cassandra Armstrong sent her on a breakaway to goal with just the goalkeeper to beat when she was fouled by the opposing goalkeeper at the top edge of the penalty box. As a result, the goalkeeper, Olivia Tierney, was shown a straight red card, taking the Ridgebacks down to 10 players.
Meanwhile, the Voyageurs had a golden opportunity to score their first marker of the game. Megan Chiovitti would take the resulting free kick and narrowly miss but this event would eventually snowball into a massive Voyageur offensive that would lead them to score two unanswered goals. The first half would then come to an end with the Ridgebacks up 2-0.
The second half for the Voyageurs was a polar opposite of the first. The Voyageurs had greater possession of the ball and scoring opportunities. In the 50th minute, Amanda Cuthbert cannoned a shot post the goal keeper that struck the post and went in for the Voyageurs' first goal of the young season. With renewed spirits, the Vees marched on for an equalizer. In the 55th minute, Cuthbert had another go at goal that had fans jumping out of their seats but unfortunately the ball went wide. Another noteworthy play came just six minutes later when Katlyn Jung shot for goal but was turned away.
The Voyageurs' hard work and determination would not go wasted when, in the 89th minute, a good cross in from rookie, Megan Short connected with a fellow Voyageur who was unable to convert but, a scrum would ensue and the ball found itself at the mercy of another rookie, Kaylee Spridgeon's cleats, who would make no mistake in depositing the ball at the back of the net. Jubilations erupted and just seconds later the full whistle blew, ensuring the first point for the Voyageurs this season.
Amanda Cuthbert described the see-saw battle with the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks when she said the following post-game: "First few minutes were rough [but] then we started to get our stuff together. Second half was a great half, we won every fifteen, every fifty/fifty, we won the ball. [We] started making passes [and] connecting them.
Kaylee Spridgeon was over the moon when describing how she felt after scoring her fist university career goal and her team's performance: "It was kind of a surreal experience. It was a scramble of the ball. The ball was just going everywhere. Sort of right moment, right time. It's pretty exciting. It was a great moment for the team as well. We were trying to win every fifteen minutes for that second half and we definitely came back well after being down 2-0. And the team was working well."
The Voyageurs will now travel to Ottawa to take on the first ranked team in the country, the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday, September 14. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 pm.