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Wesmen rally for opening-day draw

Wesmen defender Sara Boissonneault (6) slide tackles a Saskatchewan player during Canada West action Saturday in Saskatoon. (Huskie Athletics photo)
Wesmen defender Sara Boissonneault (6) slide tackles a Saskatchewan player during Canada West action Saturday in Saskatoon. (Huskie Athletics photo)

DAVID LARKINS, Wesmen Athletics

The Winnipeg Wesmen have a point on the table thanks to an inspired second-half comeback Saturday in Saskatoon.

Tyler Johnson scored an equalizing goal in the 77th minute and the Wesmen women's soccer team earned a well-fought 2-2 draw with the No. 16th-ranked Saskatchewan Huskies at Nutrien Park in the Canada West conference opener for both teams.

The Wesmen, who were on their heels in the first half, gave up two goals in the first 45, including a strike from Hannah Gannitsos-Clark in time added on that made it 2-0.

Maya Gabruch, in the 37th minute, had the other goal for the Huskies (0-0-1).

But the Wesmen turned the possession percentages more in their favour in the second half and were rewarded in the 53rd minute when sophomore striker Shae-Lynn Dodds scored to make it 2-1. Dodds' goal came a year to the day after she scored her first career goal — also against Saskatchewan — in her U Sports debut.

"I was super proud of the character we showed to come back after being two-nil down," Wesmen head coach Amy Anderson told Huskie Athletics. "We made a couple of changes. We have more depth than I've ever had before, so I think we're taking advantage of that and I'm super proud of the girls. That was a well-earned point."

The Wesmen, who gave up eight first-half shots, got a seven-save performance from third-year keeper Madison Fordyce.

Winnipeg (0-0-1) put eight shots on goal on Saskatchewan keeper Jadyn Steinhauer.

NOTES: Four Wesmen — three of them freshmen — made their Canada West debuts. Midfielder Alycia Mann and defender Sara Boissonneault started as true freshmen; striker Olivia Orman, a transfer from Red Deer College, also started; and defender Sophie Fonseca earned her first appearance as a sub in the 63rd minute … There were three yellow cards handed out, one to the Wesmen (Boissonneault, 90th) … Dodds made her 15th straight start and played all 90 minutes. She led the team with three shots on goal.