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TMU Bold player Taliyah Walker prepares to kick bouncing ball as other players and fans watch on
(CELINA CHUGANI/The Eyeopener)
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Bold salvage point as spicy subway series clash settles for 2-2 draw

By Abigail Dove

With a late equalizer, Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) Bold women’s soccer team drew 2-2 against their cross-town rival, the University of Toronto (U of T) Varsity Blues, on Saturday afternoon at Downsview Park. 

The Bold were looking for their second win of the season while the Varsity Blues were looking for their first. It was clear both teams wanted the win and it didn’t take long for the game to get aggressive.

“There is a clear picture of what we are trying to achieve, you don’t get points for style, so we will take it,” said Bold head coach Natalie Bukovec. 

During the 11th minute of the game, first-year Bold goalkeeper Elisa Paolucci made a save that energized the crowd.

“It’s been really great, the girls are awesome. It’s like a family,” said Paolucci about the TMU community and her teammates. 

Ten minutes later, a shoving fight between the two teams broke out in the Bold’s side of the pitch—leaving players and fans on edge. 

“We have to learn to be respectful because, at the end of the day, we are representing TMU,” said Bold captain and fourth-year midfielder Ivymae Perez. “We just need to stay composed, not talk back [to] the referees and not get chirpy with the [opposing] girls.” 

Shortly after, another scrappy battle broke out between the two sides as they traded chances to find the opening marker. 

In the 37th minute, second-year TMU defender Taliyah Walker got the game rolling with her third goal of the season to put the Bold up 1-0. However, not long after, third-year U of T defender Hannah Chown tied the game, scoring off a penalty.

Despite the tie game at halftime, the spirit for the Bold was high—many TMU varsity athletes from several teams attended the game for the university’s athlete retreat. 

“Nothing beats the energy when athletes show up for other athletes. It creates a powerful wave of unity and inspiration and that’s what the Bold community is all about,” said first-year women’s hockey defender Jayden Fox.

When the game kicked off again, it wasn’t long until U of T third-year forward Anne Yeomans netted a goal for the Varsity Blues. 

Despite a yellow card to third-year Bold forward Lizzie Farsang, the second half cooled down in aggressive play until the last few minutes.

“I have to keep myself calm,” said Bukovec. “By keeping myself calm, I hope they keep themselves calm.” 

The final minutes erupted in chaos when fourth-year Varsity Blues defender Valentina Greco received her second yellow card of the game and was thus ejected.  

The extra player advantage helped the Bold as Perez scored the game-tying goal shortly after.

With a short road trip ahead of the Bold, TMU hopes to use this matchup to help push them forward. “This is a great time to build momentum as we have been going through it the past few weeks,” added Perez. 

UP NEXT: The Bold face-off next against the Queen’s Gaels on Saturday, Sept. 23 in Kingston, Ont. at 1 p.m.

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