Antigonish, NS - As darkness descended at Oland Stadium and the bright lights switched on, it was a fitting setting for the numerous all-star performers to put on a fantastic show for fans in attendance. The game ended honours even at one goal apiece between Acadia and StFX.
The first half ended scoreless, but it was not for lack of trying. StFX's Natneal Tecle (Calgary, AB) was a constant threat and Acadia's John Attenborough (Bedford, NS) had to be at his best.
Route one was the avenue of choice by Ben Herringer (Calgary, AB) and Dan Hayfield (Exeter, ENG), but Acadia's central defenders, Zachery Visser (Winsloe South, PEI) and Cale Sanders (Bridgetown, NS) were superb, not only at quelling the attacks, but also starting counter-attacks with nicely timed passes.
For Acadia it was Tylor Connolly (Quispamsis, NB) and Matthew Berrigan (Halifax, NS) who tested the X keeper, Thomas Pieroway (Conception Bay, NL).
It was not long into the second half before the defence would break. StFX looked all the world to score with a brilliant header by Josh Read (Bath, ENG) on a superbly hit Dylan Lawrence (Ottawa, ON) corner kick, but found the outside of the post.
Just two minutes later X would break the deadlock after a superb passage of play. Tecle made a nice pass to Alex Taylor (Fall River, NS) who streaked down the right wing and delivered a great cross to Hayfield at the edge of the six-yard box. Hayfield calmly settled the ball with a couple of touches and then fired a shot into the corner of the net giving Axemen keeper Nic Jeffries (Rothesay, NB) no chance on the play.
After the goal the game continued its frenetic pace, with both teams using their skill when in possession to create goal scoring chances. The aggressive nature of the match led to a rare free kick inside the Acadia box when the referee adjudged a defender deliberately passed the ball back to keeper Jeffries, who then picked the ball up. The free kick, from just outside the goal line by the six-yard box, was a Hayfield blast which hit midfielder, Spencer Buck (Quispamsis, NB) stationed on the goal line.
Acadia's courage and skill were justly rewarded with an equalizer with just two minutes remaining in the ninety. Ryan Rhodenizer (Bridgewater, NS) curled a perfectly weighted ball into the box and substitute, Coleman Hooper (New Minas, NS) one timed the volley into the back of the net. For his efforts Rhodenizer received player of the game honours for the Axemen.
X-Men midfielder Cole Suart (Calgary, AB) was named the Subway Player of the Game.
Both teams are back in action tomorrow afternoon. StFX travels to Halifax to face Saint Mary's, while Acadia travels to Sydney to play Cape Breton. Both games are slated for 3:15 pm.
Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Athletics Communications