In their second match in as many days, the Tigers soccer men’s team fell to the visiting Acadia Axemen 3-0 on Sunday at Wickwire Field. The loss evens their record at 1-1 on the young season.
The opening half was an exciting affair to watch as both teams worked the ball up and down the field aggressively in an even, hard fought battle.
The best chance of the half came when lethal Tigers midfielder Bezick Evraire was sent in alone behind the Axemen backline. Evraire fired a strike with the right foot that was just barely kept out by Axemen keeper Nigel Goodwin who charged the ball to make a stellar save.
The big save by Goodwin gave the Axemen a momentum boost as they controlled possession in the Tigers’ end for the next 25 minutes of the half. The Tigers stood strong in the face of the pressure to keep the Axemen from getting any quality opportunities on goal.
The Axemen nearly had a penalty kick in the waning moments of the half. Evraire was taken down by a questionable tackle at midfield that the official deemed fair (to the outrage of the Tigers’ bench).
The ball went directly into the Tigers’ 18-yard box from there, where keeper Jason Ross attempted a slide tackle on Axemen striker Matthew Berrigan. Ross missed the ball and caught Berrigan in the shins, but the official let that that play go as well.
The Tigers closed the half with a flurry of chances but Goodwin was up to the task each time.
The second half brought instant action as the Tigers worked the ball into the Axemen’s 18-yard box and seemed to be on their way to goal when Goodwin came flying through with a right-hand punch to clear the danger for the Axemen.
In transition after the Goodwin save the Axemen ran the field winning a corner. Tyler Connolly worked in a cross that forced Ross to make a leaping right-hand punch save of his own.
The Axemen won another corner 65 minutes into the match. Cochrane Noseworthy-Smith sent the cross in from the left side into the lap of Axemen back Andrew Snyder who made no mistake with the right-foot from 12 yards out putting the Axemen up 1-0.
Only three minutes later Berrigan made a stellar run up the right wing before working a cross into Noseworthy-Smith who deposited the second Axemen goal.
As soon as play started after the goal, the Axemen gained possession and used pristine teamwork to work the ball down the pitch.
Ryan Parris and Noseworthy-Smith worked the ball between themselves, eventually sending Sean Langille down the left-wing. Langille worked his way to the middle for a shot, Ross made the initial save but Sam Gillis was there to bury the rebound and put the Axemen up 3-0.
The Axemen had another glorious opportunity as Berrigan led a three on a rush up-field with Snyder and Cooper Coats, but Ross made a big save on Berrigan.
The Tigers kept pushing late as Evraire made a sweet move working from the left-wing into the box, splitting two Axemen defenders and firing a right foot blast, Goodwin made another tremendous leaping save to preserve the clean-sheet.
Side note: Zach Shaffelburg was playing in his first match against his former squad. He played for Acadia for the last four years while doing his undergrad and now suits up for the Tigers in his first year of studying medicine at Dal.