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Men’s soccer outclassed

Dal's James Nearing tries to get a foot on the ball as his opponent breaks for it. (Chris Parent photo)
Dal's James Nearing tries to get a foot on the ball as his opponent breaks for it. (Chris Parent photo)

Inconsistency has marred the first half of this campaign for the Dalhousie men’s soccer team.

The Tigers knew scoring would be a question mark entering this season, but they had more to worry about than solely their offensive production Sept. 29 at Wickwire Field. The Tigers were outplayed in most facets of the game, ceding three goals in the opening half to drop a 3-2 decision against the Acadia Axemen.

The defeat leaves Dal in a battle for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AUS, tying them with the eight points of St. Francis Xavier and Cape Breton University. The Tigers have not missed the postseason in the 10-team conference since 2007.

Third-year striker Tyler Lewars knows as much as anybody that his team needs to be better.

“This was our only game this weekend so we figured we’d leave everything on the pitch,” says Lewars, “but, I don’t know, I don’t think that really happened for us.”

In what was at times a rain-drenched affair, the Tigers found themselves behind by two goals midway through the opening frame. Dal keeper Jason Ross could not make the second stop on an Axemen attack, surrendering an open net for Acadia’s Cochrane Noseworthy to make it 1-0 in the 28th minute. Then, less than a minute later, Noseworthy got on the board again, booting a screamer from about 35 feet away over Ross’ outstretched arms to take the 2-0 advantage.

After the Axemen took a 3-1 edge on another rebound chance Dal could not clear, Lewars would be the only scorer in the second half. The inspired comeback attempt that followed, however, did not produce the equalizer the Tigers needed.

Dal coach Pat Nearing says his side had opportunities to change the outcome of this match.

“I mean, we had a penalty saved against us. We need to finish all of those chances,” says Nearing. “With that penalty, it’s a 3-3 tie and at least there’s some dignity in that.”

The Tigers were without two of their standouts. Defender Mark Hagen left the pitch during the match after he took an unfortunate knee to the back. He will likely be out for at least a week due to a pinched or inflamed nerve. Meanwhile, striker Julian Perrotta was conspicuously absent from the game. Nearing said he missed too many training sessions this week and was told to sit this one out.

Dal has six games left on their schedule. Their next match is Oct. 10 at Saint Mary’s.

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Ian Froese
Ian Froese
Ian was the Gazette's Editor-in-chief for Volume 146. He was the Sports Editor for Volumes 145 and 144.

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