The StFX X-Men improved to 9-1-2 and sit in first place in the AUS standings ahead of Cape Breton by 1 point (who have two games remaining) after a 2-1 win over the host Acadia Axemen.
The X-Men scored the only goal of the first half at the 42nd minute when Dan Hayfield, on a free kick 15 yards out to right of the goal, netted a hard kick high that was nearly stopped by Axemen keeper Nic Jefferies.
Late in the second half, near the 87th minute, Liam Harrigan scored the X-Men’s second goal off of a corner kick that was mishandled by an Acadia defender and Harrigan picked up the lose ball.
The Axemen final closed the lead to one on a Cooper Coats goal in extra time. Coats goal was set up by teammate Travis Fenning who drew the defenders as he approached the 18 yard box and then dropped the ball back and to the side to Coats for the one-time kick and goal.
In the dying minutes of play, the Axemen pressured to tie the game, but fell short giving StFX the important 2-1 win. Tylor Connolly led Acadia with four shots on goal.
Out-shooting the X-Men 12-5, X-man Thomas Pieroway made seven saves, while Acadia’s Nic Jefferies was tested several times with 1 save.
In Acadia’s second and final match of the regular season, the Axemen settled for a 1-1 draw against the visiting UPEI Panthers in the last regular season match of the 2017 season.
The draw clinches a playoff berth for the Axemen after posting a regular season record of 5-4-3.
The Axemen out-shot UPEI 16-3, with Panther Brett Strba stopping 8 shots on goal, but on the other end, Acadia keeper Nic Jefferies was tested several times.
Sam Smiley opened the scoring at the 16 minute mark of the first half for the Panthers after a nice feed from Mohammad Jaber.
The Axemen responded back at the 35th minute on an unassisted goal by Cale Sanders.
The second half saw no additional goals, but plenty of opportunities including four of five corner kicks for the Axemen couldn’t help grab the win.
The Axemen will finish the 2017 AUS regular season in fourth place in the standings with 18 points. The Axemen will take on UPEI in Quarterfinal play at the AUS Subway Men’s Soccer Championship beginning this Thursday at 7:00 p.m.