X-Men earn comeback win over Axemen

Photo credit Amelie Gero
Photo credit Amelie Gero

Antigonish, NS - The StFX X-Men overcame an early two-goal deficit to defeat the visiting Acadia Axemen by a score of 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Oland Stadium.

The Axemen got off to a very energetic start the to the game and StFX were flatfooted from the off, so it was to no one's surprise that Acadia registered the game's first goal in the 7th minute. Acadia were awarded their second corner of the match and Tyler Connolly (Quispamsis, NB) delivered a precise ball into the box. Ali Jabara (Ottawa, ON) was the first to get a head on the ball, which eventually landed on the foot of Dante Borsella (Moncton, NB). Borsella fired a shot five-yards high into the corner of the net that gave X-Men keeper Seamus MacDonald (Antigonish, NS) no chance.

Acadia's second goal, in the 11th minute, was a masterful strike from distance by midfield Gordon McLaughlin (Peterborough, ON) which, in fairness, MacDonald should have had.  MacDonald misjudged the angle, and the ball sailed just above his outstretched hands. 

The second goal was the wakeup call the X-Men needed to start to play like the top 10 nationally ranked side that they are. Tane Caubo (London, UK) was the driving force behind X's awakening. He was a constant threat with the ball at his feet and consistently worked himself in goal scoring positions. In the 30th minute, Caubo proved too difficult for Jabara to handle when Jabara fouled him in the box. The foul yielded two expected results. A booking for Jabara and a Dan Hayfield (Exeter, UK) goal from the penalty spot.

The opening half was a tense affair. There were numerous poor tackles by both sides and a number of heated exchanges. At halftime tensions boiled over and Ali Jabari was shown a straight red card (not a second yellow) for an incident unrelated to an action that occurred during play.

The second half began with the Axemen reduced to 10 men. Andrew Nutt (Whitby, ON) distinguished himself in nets by making a number of key saves and organizing his defence with a general's accuracy. Ryan Parris (Pembroke, BMU) joined the Acadia backline and expertly quelled the StFX attacks. 

After 30 minutes of one-way StFX traffic, the stout Acadia defence finally broke. An excellent long ball into the box by Josh Read (Bath, UK) found Ben Herringer (Calgary, AB), whose perfect first-touch guided the ball into the back of the Acadia net. Not five minutes later, rookie substitute, Lewis Dye (Fall River, NS) launched a screamer into the top corner of the net to give the X-Men a one goal lead at 3-2.

The game's final goal, fittingly, went to Tane Caubo. In the game's dying seconds, with the ball at the Acadia 18-yard line, and the game won, Ben Herringer decided his teammate deserved one more chance for a goal. Herringer dispossessed the Acadia defender and, while down on all fours, found a way to get a pass to Caubo who then coolly angled a chip to the far corner of the net and provided a perfect ending to StFX's Homecoming weekend.

Caubo was fittingly named the Subway player of the game. Acadia's Spencer Buck (Ottawa, ON) received player of the game honours for his squad.

As the teams break for the traditional Thanksgiving weekend pause, Acadia (5-2-0) next see action when they host UNB in Wolfville on October 12th at 7:15 pm. StFX (5-1-1) will host the Dalhousie Tigers on October 13th at 3:15 pm in Antigonish.


Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information