T-Birds outlast Axewomen in penalty kicks, advance to U SPORTS semi-finals


SYDNEY, NS – Fourth-year forward Danielle Steer notched the penalty-kick winner as the UBC Thunderbirds defeated the Acadia Axewomen 2-1 in the second quarterfinal match of the 2021 U SPORTS Women’s Soccer Championships on Thursday afternoon from Sydney, N.S. 

Steer was the third goal scorer for the Thunderbirds, following teammates Katalin Tolnai and Sophie Damian finding the back of the net while Grace Longley was the only Axewoman beat fifth-year UBC goalkeeper Emily Moore in the penalty kick round. Moore was stellar in the skills competition in coming up with two huge saves off Acadia shooters to ensure victory for the ‘Birds.


There were few chances early in the first half, with the Thunderbirds – Canada West silver medallists – holding a territorial advantage, but they could not get on the scoreboard. 

“We felt quite confident through most of the match with the amount of chances we created,” said UBC head coach Jesse Symons. “Acadia closed space well and their keeper made some big saves. We really got numbers forward and kept the ball in their half for long stretches. I am very happy with the result and it was deserved to send us to the National Semi Final.”

In the 19th minute, the Atlantic University Sport champion Axewomen garnered a corner kick – one taken by freshman wing Grace Somers – which led to a free kick. That boot into the 18-yard box by Longley was headed away by the UBC defense. 

Less than two minutes into the second half, sophomore striker Alli Kelly garnered a quality scoring opportunity – from in tight – but UBC backstop Moore was sharp in making the sliding save. 

“Emily is a top keeper and one that really stabilizes our team at the back,” added Symons referencing the impact of the T-Birds veteran goalkeeper. “She has had a tremendous year and career at UBC.”

In the 50th minute, freshman midfielder Aislin Phillips struck a ball from 20 yards out, which deflected off a couple legs before finding the left corner behind Axewomen freshman goalkeeper Milena Ramirez.  

Acadia notched the equalizer – in the 69th minute – when senior wing Jayden Boudreau laced a shot into the top corner behind Moore to make it 1-1. 

U SPORTS QF 2021 Katalin Tolnai

There were few scoring chances for either side in the final minutes of regulation. 

Early in extra time, UBC garnered the first prime scoring chance, when second-year midfielder Nisa Reehal streaked down the wing and uncoiled a hard shot, but Ramirez got a hand on it and deflected the ball over the crossbar.  

For the Axewomen, Somers couldn’t chase down a through ball before Moore slid to put it out to touch, while a few minutes later Longley ripped a left-footed strike over the crossbar. 

U SPORTS QF 2021 Aislin Phillips

On a free kick – after an Acadia hand ball just outside the 18-yard box – fourth-year forward Danielle Steer curled in a shot that Ramirez gobbled up. 

With the victory, UBC advances to the semifinals, where they will face the MacEwan Griffins, on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 11 a.m. AST which reflects an early start on the west coast with kickoff set for 7 a.m. PST. The Griffins will be familiar competition as UBC met MacEwan just two weeks ago in Canada West final four action where they came away with a 2-0 victory.

“MacEwan has had a good season and they have some players that really look to play,” continued Symons in sizing up the next opponent. “We had a great game with them in the semi-final in CanWest and expect that again on Saturday. We expect a well played and competitive match by both teams.”

Acadia moves on to a consolation semi-final on Friday, Nov. 19, at 4 p.m. AST, versus the Queen’s Gaels.  

Schedule & Results 

CBC SPORTS and CBC Gem Streaming 

NIKE performers of the game 

Acadia: Grace Longley 

UBC:  Danielle Steer 

U SPORTS QF player of game Danielle Steer


UBC 2 – Acadia 1 (PK) 

First half  

No scoring 

Second Half  

UBC: Aislin Phillips 50′              UBC 1- ACA 0 

ACA: Jaylen Boudreau 69′        UBC 1 – ACA 1     

Extra time  

No scoring 

Penalty kicks 

ACA: Lauren Jodrey – miss 

UBC: Emma Hooton – goal 

ACA: Madicynn Harnish – miss 

UBC: Sophie Damian – goal 

ACA: Grace Somers – miss 

UBC: Michelle Jana – miss  

ACA: Grace Longley – goal  

UBC: Danielle Steer – goal 

Digital coverage can be accessed on cbcsport.ca the free CBC Gem streaming service and the CBC Sports app, while French-language broadcasts are available at https://video.isilive.ca/play/usports/w-soccer-french  


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