Fitzpatrick leads X-Men to win over Aigles Bleus

Photo courtesy Nic Latulippe
Photo courtesy Nic Latulippe

Antigonish, NS – On the strength of two goals from junior forward James Fitzpatrick (Victoria, BC), in the final 10 minutes of play, the first-place and CIS #10-ranked StFX X-Men (5-0-2) remained unbeaten in AUS regular season soccer action with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus (1-5-1) Friday night.

The match, on the turf at StFX Stadium, served as part of Homecoming 2016 festivities.

Just two minutes into the match, StFX freshman forward Tane Caubo (London, ON) ripped a shot off the goal post behind Moncton goalkeeper André LeBlanc (Dieppe, NB).

A short time later, Caubo garnered another scoring opportunity, when he directed a header towards the bottom corner of the net, but a Moncton defender cleared the ball.

In the 26th minute, StFX wing back Joe Ward (Newport, South Wales) struck a hard cross, which midfielder Dylan Lawrence (Ottawa, ON) one-timed on goal, but his shot sailed over the net.

With StFX continuing the offensive pressure, the Moncton defense stiffened and kept the home team off the scoreboard.

Alexandre Theriault (Bathurst, NB) garnered a great chance, late in the first half, but his hard strike from outside the 18-yard box just went wide of the goal behind StFX junior goalkeeper Thomas Pieroway (Conception Bay, NL).

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the X-Men hit the goal post after a quick tic-tac-toe passing play.

At the intermission, the teams were scoreless.

In the opening minute of the second half, the visitors broke the scoring goose egg, when Theriault tallied in the 45th minute. He capitalized on a brilliant cross through the six-yard box.

In the 51st minute, freshman forward William Warren (Windsor, NS), who subbed in for an injured Caubo, starting causing problems for the Moncton backline, which continued throughout remaining minutes.

Moncton fashioned several scoring chances in the second half, including one by Marc-Antoine Robichaud (Inkerman, NB), off a corner kick from midfielder Saad Mohamed Mersadi (Marrakesh, Morocco), in the 73rd minute.

In the 82nd minute, Fitzpatrick, who subbed into the game in the 77th minute, knotted the affair 1-1, after showing great patience and touch after collecting the rebound on a shot from junior midfielder Liam Elbourne (Halifax, NS) that rang off the crossbar.

The last 10 minutes were full of back-and-forth action, with both teams looking for the winning goal.

Deep into injury time, on the game-winner, Fitzpatrick, again, showed a nice touch during a frantic sequence of play in the Moncton box.

In the second half, StFX outshot Moncton 15-4. Pieroway made four saves in the win, while LeBlanc collected eight stops in the loss. Defender Marc-Antoine Robichaud earned player of the game honors for the Aigles Bleus while Fitzpatrick was named the Subway player of the game.

Moncton returns to action Sunday, Oct. 2, when they travel to Sydney to face the Cape University Capers, beginning at 3:15 p.m.

The X-Men will be back on the pitch Sunday, Oct. 16, at 3:15 p.m., when they face the Acadia Axemen in Wolfville.