Men’s soccer comes into its own
For Dalhousie’s men’s soccer team, this homestand was more like it.
After failing to score through 180 minutes in their opening weekend, the Tigers returned home after a pair of road games and made up for their previous defeats, drawing a 2-2 tie against Cape Breton in a match Dal should have won and then bouncing back with a dominant 5-1 performance against Memorial.
Tigers head coach Pat Nearing said after the weekend his team is clicking like they should be.
“We now know that we’re over that really big chunk of difficult games back-to-back and now we’re really going to try to put some results together,” says Nearing.
The Tigers and their 2-2-2 record is tied for fourth place in the AUS with Moncton.
It was a turbulent 24 hours for Dal this past weekend, punctuated by the Tigers surrendering what should have been their second consecutive victory against the nationally-ranked Cape Breton Capers.
Dal was poised to steal another three points from the Capers Sept. 22, leading 2-0 entering the final 10 minutes of the match, until the Tigers, who had a number of subs on the pitch, were caught sleepwalking. Cape Breton’s Shayne Hollis scored a short side marker in the 81st minute and then, only 58 seconds later, Jason Massie pounced on his own rebound to suddenly tie the match 2-2.
“We just let it slip away,” says Nearing. “It was our own fault, my own fault, the team’s fault, whatever.”
The Tigers brushed off their surprise draw the next afternoon, knocking off the Seahawks 5-1.
Despite Memorial’s winless record, they were not slouches. Fresh off a tie against league-leading Saint Mary’s, the Seahawks held their ground until the more talented Tigers took advantage. Late in the first half, defender Nathan Rogers had his third goal of the season and Bezick Evraire tallied his first to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Memorial’s Steven DeLong answered right back, scoring in that same 33rd minute to bring his team within striking distance.
In the second half, Jason Paul, Tyler Lewars and Stephen Wax added insurance markers for the Tigers.
The 5-1 triumph was Dal’s first game this season in which they received offensive contributions from players not named Lewars or Rogers. Previous to the match, the two veterans were Dal’s only goal scorers through five games.
“It’s nice to get a couple others on the scoresheet, get a variety out there,” says Lewars.
The Tigers now has 10 goals on the season. The game also meant scoring debuts from rookie Tigers, Paul and Wax.
Paul said it was great to finally cash in.
“It’s nice to get it going, open the account,” he says. “It feels good.”
The Tigers play in front of a homecoming crowd Saturday, Sept. 29 against Acadia at 3:15 p.m.