X-Men top Sea-Hawks 3-1

Courtesy Caitlyn McLeod
Courtesy Caitlyn McLeod

Antigonish, N.S. - The unbeaten StFX X-Men (4-0-2) defeated the visiting Memorial Sea-Hawks (1-4-1) by a 3-1 margin in AUS soccer action Sunday afternoon at StFX Stadium.

In the 10th minute, off a free kick deep in the Memorial zone, StFX made it 1-0.

On the play, Dan Hayfield (Exeter, UK) fed Dylan Lawrence (Ottawa, ON), who put a left-footed cross into the area, which Cole Suart (Ottawa, ON) headed on goal, but Patrick Slaney (St. Lawrence, NL) made the stop. On the bouncing rebound, forward Ben Herringer's (Calgary, AB) header found the back of the net. 

In the 13th minute, Sea-Hawk forward Kyle Williams (Goulds, NL) struck a nice cross, but X-Men keeper Matt Lannan (Port Williams, NS) made the save.

Six minutes or so later, off another Williams cross, midfielder Iain Gamba (St. John's, NL) re-directed the ball just wide of the near post.

Off a offensive push initiated by Jordi Slaney (St. Lawrence, NL), he found striker Tyler Forsey (St. Philips, NL), who found Gamba for another re-direction, from close quarters, but Lannan was equal to the task.

Midway through the half, Memorial garnered a corner kick and then a free kick, from deep in the StFX zone, but the visitors came up empty. 

In the 30th minute, Forsey garnered another opportunity, ripping a blast just wide of the far post.

A couple minutes later, Joe Ward (Newport, South Wales) put a pass through to freshman forward Tane Caubo (London, ENG), who had split a pair of defenders, but Slaney made a sliding save.

In the 33rd minute, the Sea-Hawks caught a break, when a Ward handball led to a penalty kick. Jordan Slaney took the shot and deadlocked the match-up 1-1.

In the final minutes of the opening stanza, both sides created scoring chances, but they remained knotted at the intermission.

Earlier in second half, on the second of consecutive corner kicks, Suart soared to head in the pass from Lawrence for a 2-1 lead.

After Suart drew a foul, which gave the X-Men a free kick, Ward left-footed the ball on goal. Patrick Slaney juggled that initial shot, leading to a sliding attempt from Caubo, who hit the outside of the net.

Off a free kick, from 10 yards, Lannan punched the shot out of harm's way.

In the 58th minute, with the Sea-Hawks pressing for the tying marker, X-Men defender Dustin Benetti (Calgary, AB) climbed the ladder to clear a corner kick from Williams.

A few minutes later, Lannan thwarted a quality opportunity off the foot of Benjamin Collingwood (St. John's, NL).

In the 67th minute, StFX doubled their edge, on a goal from Caubo. After a Ward free kick slammed off the Memorial defensive wall, the sophomore wing back regained possession and found Lawrence, before the ball ended up on the foot of the freshman forward, who blistered a strike inside the far post.

After Caubo was hauled down, in the 72nd minute, the X-Men gained a chance to extend their lead with a penalty kick. In a heavy downpour, Caubo laced a shot over the crossbar.

In the final five minutes, off a Sea-Hawk corner kick from Forsey, Lannan preserved the two-goal advantage with a diving save of a solidly-struck Jordi Slaney header.

The X-Men's senior keeper, who earned Subway player of the match honours, made his final save, after he lunged to his left to corral a free kick that deflected off Caubo.

Defender Tiuri Lomond (Stephenville, NL) garnered top player for the Sea-Hawks.

The Sea-Hawks will be back in action Saturday, Oct. 15, at 3:15 p.m., when the Saint Mary's Huskies visit St. John's.

The X-Men will return to the pitch, on StFX Homecoming Weekend, when they host the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus on Friday, September. 30. Game time is 7:15 p.m.