Men return home with a mixed bag of results following three game road trip
Things could’ve gone better for the MUN men’s soccer team on their recent Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference road trip, but things also could’ve gone worse. Falling to Acadia 2-0 in the opener, the men fought for a tough 2-2 draw in hostile territory against Dalhousie despite going down to 10 men, before finally putting it all together and handily defeating the St. Mary’s Huskies 4-1 in their concluding match-up.
This year’s Acadia Axemen are not a fearsome side, but they are a complete one with plenty of experience. This was no less evident in their match against the Sea-Hawks, as patient build-up eventually yielded its rewards. Memorial staved off the Axemen attack in the early going for the entire first half, but at times were stretched and woefully out of position. Eventually, the Axemen got the break they were looking for, with Corey Cadeau sending Matthew Berrigan through on goal to beat a just-late David Hickey in goal. Memorial had chances to get back in the game while the deficit remained at just one, but with time running out and the stroke of 90 approaching, Cooper Coats sealed all three points for the home side. If you’re looking for an explanation for the loss, the contrast in shooting volume is a good point to consider. Hickey was kept busy, seeing 14 shots come his way (five on target), while Memorial could only post half as many on opposing keeper Nigel Goodwin (just three on target).
Facing the Dalhousie Tigers, the plot looked to have turned sour for Memorial, who saw some of these defensive woes from the previous season once again rear their ugly head. Caught out in the 36th minute by an incisive Bezick Evraire who put Memorial behind 1-0, an even more grievous error left Aaron Hoyle able to double the advantage in the 57th. With just over a half-hour remaining, lesser teams would’ve thrown in the towel, yet Memorial found the strength to bite back through Ben Collingwood’s impressive tally. The Sea-Hawks almost had the life and points ripped away from them when Mark Brefo was shown straight red minutes after Collingwood’s lifeline in a gross display of indiscipline. However, Tyler Kirby would later rescue the points and snatch an improved result for coach Jake Stanford’s boys. Again, however, Memorial struggled to locate their shooting boots—their two goals were fortunately efficient, coming from just four shots total.
With Brefo absent due to his sending off, it was unclear whether the momentum Memorial gained from their stolen victory would have the desired effect on the team’s morale. That question was answered by Iain Gamba in the 17th minute, and given reassurance by two goals from Sea-Hawks talisman Tyler Forsey. Jordi Slaney would do his part to put the result of the came out of question with a fourth goal, to which the Huskies could only grab a consolation goal. The brace for Forsey means he trails just Dalhousie’s Evraire (five) and Cape Breton’s Maheu (eight) for top spot in the conference scoring race.
Memorial’s (2-2-1) results boost them over St. Mary’s (1-1-3) into fifth in the conference, and with games in hand on their nearest opposition—however, league leaders Cape Breton (4-0-2) and top scorer Justin Maheu are set to visit The Rock next.
Next up for the Memorial men’s Sea-Hawks is a pair against the Cape Breton Capers at King George V Field. Kickoffs at 3:15 PM October 3 and 1:15 PM October 4.