Capers, X-Men to clash for championship on Sunday
SYDNEY – On the strength of an offensive outburst early in the first half, one keyed by a pair of goals from Charlie Waters (Blackpool, England) – both set up by the dynamic playmaking of Dyan Vil (Ottawa, ON) – the second-ranked STFX X-Men defeated the UNB Reds 4-0 in a semi-final match at the 2023 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) Men's Soccer Championship – presented by Bell – on Friday night at Ness Timmons Field on the Cape Breton University (CBU) campus.
With the victory, the X-Men will play for a conference banner on Sunday – at 4 p.m. ADT – versus the top-ranked and rival CBU Capers.
The win also sealed a berth in the U SPORTS national championship for the X-Men. The national tournament is being hosted at the same facility by the Capers November 9-12.
In the 10th minute, AUS rookie of the year Isaac Van Wychen (Middle Musquodoboit, NS) finished a three-way passing play with conference MVP Kyle Cordeiro (Oakville, ON) and Logan Rieck (Cambridge, ON) to give the White and Blue a 1-0 advantage.
Less than two minutes later – in the 12th – Vil made a sensational run down the wing before curling a nifty pass to Waters, who poked home a shot behind UNB keeper Mahmoud Moustafa (Stratford, PE) to make it 2-0.
In the 27th minute, Vil and Waters combined, once again, with the former AUS rookie of the year tucking a strike inside the goal post behind Moustafa.
The best chance – of few in the opening half for the Reds – came on a free kick by second-team all-star Lars Gierull (Ottawa, ON) that first-team all-star Keji Adeniyi (London, England), in the 43rd minute.
The X-Men led 3-0 at halftime.
Early in the second half, Vil made another run and his cross just eluded a sliding Cordeiro, and Mustafa made a diving stop to keep his club within striking distance.
In the 55th minute, off a corner kick to the far post by freshman striker Jackson Purbs (Welland, ON), STFX keeper Sam Diltz (Newmarket, ON) soared to get his hands on the ball, but got upended, which provided an open net for a UNB scoring chance, but X-Men defenders captain Lewis Dye (Fall River, NS) and Damian DeDekker (Ottawa, ON) blocked the shot on their goal line.
Moments later, in the 58th minute, senior defender Jack Kennedy (Antigonish, NS) unleashed a hard shot that was blocked by UNB conference all-star Chris Schmit (Vancouver, BC), but he followed up and scorched the rebound top shelf, on the short side behind Mustafa, to make it 4-0.
In the 77th minute, freshman fullback Myers Hayne (Antigonish, NS) had a free kick for the Reds, but none of his teammates could make contact around the far post.
The X-Men outshot the Reds 20-12, including 12-3 in shots on goal. Vil from STFX was named player of the match.
Recap courtesy Corey LeBlanc