Tommies soccer kicking it close

St. Thomas University Tommies men and women’s soccer teams had their final home games of the season against Crandall University Chargers at the Scotia Bank Field Oct. 21.

 

The woman’s Tommies beat the Chargers 1-0, and the men’s tied at 0-0.

 

After an hour delay due to Crandall’s bus troubles, the women kicked off their game at 7 p.m. The Tommies got off to a slow but steady start, managing to get 3 shots on goal without scoring within the first six minutes.

 

Possession of the ball was back and forth between both teams throughout the first with few shots on either net. STU’s Zoe De Bellefeuille took a fall on the field at the 16:20 mark, forcing STU to make a line change.

 

The Tommies persevered and continued to make consistent plays to get the ball passed Chargers goalkeeper. Co-captain Tory Kuhn finally scored an unassisted goal at 39:00, finishing the first half in STU’s favour.

 

The second half of the game saw the Chargers come out strong against the Tommies. The Moncton women made a number of fast plays, but none were successful in tying up the game.

 

The Chargers goalkeeper sustained an injury with nine minutes left in the game and was replaced at 86:00, giving them little time to catch.

 

Kuhn’s single goal managed to hold up as the 1-0 game winner. Goalkeepers Chelsea Leahy and Lauren Haas, who had shared the responsibility in the net, were both credited with the shutout.

 

Head coach Michelle DeCourcey said it wasn’t the women Tommies’ best performance of the season, but she was still satisfied with the results.

 

“I think we moved the ball around pretty well today,” she said. “We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to score… we came out with a win and that’s exactly what we wanted, so we’re happy with that.”

 

With the year coming to a close, DeCourcey also said the team has improved tremendously since the beginning of the season.

 

“We’ve learned a whole different system for most of the players and we’ve learned to switch the ball better than any team in the league I think.”

 

The fate for the women Tommies’ spot in the upcoming ACAA Championships is still up in the air. Games against Holland College and Dalhousie AC will be the determining factors.

 

Between games, a presentation was held for the graduating players of each team. The women’s Elaine Gillis, Chelsey Leahy, Lauren Haas, Julia Phillips, Sarah Turcotte, Tory Kuhn and Emily Cronkite, as well as the men’s Bradley Johnston and Xavier Ponce were honoured and thanked for their dedication to St. Thomas’ athletic success.

 

The men’s game kicked off after the presentation at nine p.m. The crowd stayed and braved the cold night for what would be a fast-paced and rough game against Crandall.

 

The Tommies fought hard during the first half to keep the ball away from the Chargers. Tommies’ goalkeeper Nicolas Levesque fended off a number of shots on net keeping the Chargers from scoring.

 

The 15:00 mark saw STU’s Bradley Johnston receive a yellow card, with Crandall’s Frederick Agbozo following suit three minutes later. The game was proving to be an intense challenge for both teams.

 

Line changes for STU were made periodically but by the end of the first, neither STU nor Crandall had managed to score.

 

A halftime talk with head coach John-Ryan Morrison boosted the Tommies into the second half, but it wasn’t long before an injury to the head forced Klinton Doucette out of the game.

 

The second half continued to be a back-and-forth routine between the Tommies and the Chargers, each team gaining several shots on goal with no success.

 

There was a yellow card at 48:00 in the game against Dryden Bulmer flustering STU into high gear. Efforts made in the final moments of the game by Hassan Yussuf and Oliver Dussault were within inches of making it into the net, but no goals were scored and the game ended with a tie at 0-0.

 

Coach Morrison said the game’s results came from lack of quality on STU’s part.

 

“We just misplaced too many passes,” he said. “We worked hard enough to win but we just didn’t connect when we needed to.”

 

Morrison said that he believes the tie still managed to clinch a spot in the playoffs, the first for STU in four years.

 

“We’ve still got a big weekend ahead of us,” he said. “We’ve got (games against) Holland (College) who’s undefeated, and Dalhousie University who we’d like to win (against), so we’d like to finish in the second or third spot… we hope with this tie it’s all still a possibility.”

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