St. Thomas University men’s soccer team played a solid game against the University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves beating them 2-1. The win moved them into second place on the table.
Before the game both teams were tied for that spot, knowing a win would bump them up to the top slot. The teams had played each other at the beginning of the month in a game which resulted in a draw.
Before the start of the game, a one-minute silence was held for STU alumnus Matt Sloan who was found dead on Friday. All the St. Thomas players wore commemorative black armbands in honour of his passing.
The game started off physical with UNBSJ Seawovles holding possession during an uneventful opening 15 minutes of play.
The game appeared to burst with life when the first goal of the game came.
It came in the 18th minute thanks to six-foot third-year midfielder Elmer Morales who rose the highest to head the ball into the net, after an excellent right-footed delivery from fellow midfielder Mike Corby.
After that, STU began to find their stride, which lead to their second goal in the 24th minute.
After an unintentional by a UNBSJ defender, STU was awarded a free-kick about 20 metres from goal.
The Tommies opted not to wait for the whistle and while the Seawolf defence was organizing, left-sided midfielder Craig Draper curled in an accurate ball to the far post.
While STU was busy celebrating, the Seawolf players were protesting the goal and appealed to the referee to reverse his decision to award the goal.
To their disappointment, the referee stood by his decision and the Tommies kept their 2-0 lead going into halftime.
After the halftime break, the game became very physical with the referee calling numerous free-kicks in favour of both sides.
Even so, the Tommies continued to dominate the game in the second-half, coming close to scoring a third goal that was denied by six-foot four UNSJ goalie Jason DeMerchant.
Then against the run of play, the Seawolves managed to pull a goal courtesy of a penalty-kick from midfielder Manuel Reyes, as STU’s right-back Jamie Higgins had brought a UNBSJ player down in the penalty box.
The Tommies regained their composure and were able to survive a late UNBSJ onslaught.
They managed to hold on for a 2-1 win thanks to the safe hands of third-year goalie Marc Gagnon and rock solid central defensive duo of Dylan Hughes and Alex Fredericks.
Next up for the Tommies is a trip to 4th placed University of King’s College who they also defeated 2-1 two weeks ago.
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