(FREDERICTON, NB) On a wet and cold afternoon, the UNB Varsity Reds and StFX X-Men fought to a 0-0 draw, in Atlantic University Sport men's soccer action at BMO Centre, Sunday.
Each side made offensive pushes, and each side defended well. Each team had scoring opportunities.
"The game kind of had a playoff feel," said Varsity Reds head coach Miles Pinsent. "Both teams were playing pretty tight. It was just two teams trying to negate the other one."
X-Men coach Graham Kennedy agreed. "Our goal was to not concede today and we accomplished that," said Kennedy. "We had our chances to score, but so did UNB. It was a good game, a typical game between two playoff-bound teams."
With the regular season winding down, both side are posturing ahead of the playoffs. The single point gives the X-Men 21 on the season. With two games remaining, StFX could still capture a first round playoff bye.
With its point, UNB has 17. The Varsity Reds have two games remaining as well, and are still in contention for a first round bye too.
Given the stakes, the game featured some aggressive play. Each side was given a yellow card. At least twice, players had to be separated following hard plays. Emotions, unlike the temperature, was high.
"When both teams are playing to try and take away space from their opponent, and when the teams are playing in close quarters, you expect there's going to be some physical contact like that," said Coach Pinsent.
Second year Varsity Reds fullback Matt Boem (Mississauga, ON) got his first AUS start, and played the full 90 minutes. "I thought I contributed well to the team, but overall, it's just the team performance I'm worried about right now," said Boem.
"It's not the result we set out to get. It's not what we're looking for, tie games at the end of the season. We're trying to maximize points," said Boem.
"We know Matt's capable of playing, and we were confident going with him. He did a good job today," said Pinsent.
For UNB, the draw was their only action of the weekend. The X-Men were coming off Friday's 7-0 win, in Moncton.
"It was our second game of the weekend, and we came up here and played a fresh team, so I was pleased to get a point," said Coach Kennedy.
X now prepares to host Saint Mary's, on Wednesday. The Varsity Reds host Moncton, Friday at 7:15 pm, before heading to Mount Allison on Saturday.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics