X-Men blank Aigles Bleus 2-0 in season opener

Courtesy Amelie Gero
Courtesy Amelie Gero

Antigonish, NS - The StFX X-Men got their season off to a perfect start with a comprehensive 2-0 victory over the visiting Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus Saturday afternoon at Oland Stadium.

The X-Men started the brighter of the two teams with winger William Warren (Windsor, NS) making a number of darting runs and veteran Ben Herringer (Calgary, AB) a constant threat up front.  StFX were particularly dangerous from set piece play, and the first goal of the match came off a corner kick.  X-Men freshman Ayoub Al Arabi (Halifax, NS) curled in a perfect ball that found fellow freshman, central defender, Lewis Dye (Fall River, NS) and the Moncton net. 

Not long after it was defender Blake Fenton's (Halifax, NS) turn to put in a great set piece strike, but fellow wing back Serge Doussou (Calgary, AB) could not quite get his foot on the ball. 

StFX doubled their lead deep into first half injury time.  The impressive Doussou fired a cross field ball that found the magic feet of William Warren.  Warren made a couple of nice moves before firing his shot past Aigle Bleus keeper, Andre Leblanc (Dieppe, NB).

The second half would see no change in the score, but it was an entertaining display of skilled and aggressive soccer.  The X-Men midfield pairing of Liam Elbourne (Halifax, NS) and Cole Suart (Calgary, AB) were excellent and prevented the Aigles Bleues from gaining any sustained momentum in the second half. 

Moncton midfielder Nathan Goulet put in a great effort for his side with some nice passes and tracking back to help his defenders.  Quebec City's Alex Laperriere was never far from the action throughout the piece and after 60 minutes of play found himself at the wrong end of a heavy but clean challenge by X's Doussou, who sporting went over to check on Laperrierre.  Soon after, StFX were awarded a corner and central defender Josh Read's (Bath, ENG), header looked headed for the open net only to have Laperrie clear the line and save a certain goal.

It did not get any easier for the visitors when U SPORTS player of the year, Dan Hayfield (Exeter, ENG) was introduced on 65 minutes.  Hayfield made a number of nice plays, much to the delight of the hometown crowd, and gave a glimpse of what is in store for AUS opponents when he curled in a brilliant ball that just went over the crossbar.  Equally impressive was fellow substitute, Moncton's Thomas Maillet (Moncton, NB), who was responsible for handling Hayfield and did a fine marking job in addition to making a number of nice plays on and off the ball.

For his efforts on the afternoon, StFX's Josh Read received Subway player of the game honours. Aigles Bleus midfielder Kamal Anjorin (Cotonou, Benin) was Moncton's player of the game.

The X-Men are right back in action Sunday as they host the UNB Reds in Antigonish at 3:00 pm. The Aigles Bleus travel to Sydney to face the Capers on Sunday, also at 3:00 pm.


Courtesy Bart Sears, StFX Sports Information