The Saint Mary's Huskies Men's Soccer Team won their home opener Saturday afternoon,defeating Mount Allison 2-0. The Mounties played strong defense, but the Huskies dominated the offence throughout the game. Fourth year Halifax native Alex Black led the charge with both goals, giving him a league best total of 4 on the year.
The game started out with impressive, extended possessions for the Huskies, full of crisp, clean passes and cohesive attacks. But most impressive early on was the AUS debut of Mounties goalkeeper Michael Butler (Nassau Bahamas) who made four acrobatic saves on booming, close-range strikes in the first twenty minutes and prevented far worse damage. A large, athletic first-year player, Butler was a cat for 90 minutes, and the keystone to the Mounties' defense all game. He also displayed great strength, twice throwing the ball 50 yards downfield from his goal.
Saint Mary's offence remained persistently sharp throughout, and, at the 37th minute, veteran forward Tyler Dorey (Dartmouth, NS) connected with Black on an odd man rush, setting him up with plenty of open net and giving Saint Mary's a 1-0 lead.
Mount Allison's best chance came minutes later at the close of the half. From just a few yards outside the center of the penalty box, Mounties' first-year Ziad Abdelrahman (Libertyville, Ill.) belted a strong, curving strike that seemed destined for the goal, but Huskies' keeper Jensen Brown (Enfield, NS) responded to his only real challenge of the day with a brilliant, sprawling save, and the score stood 1-0 into the break.
The second half picked up where the first left off and Black eventually potted his second at the 65-minute mark with a powerful blast from the top of the box. He nearly completed a hat trick later in the game with an ambitious bicycle kick close in front of the goal, but missed wide though he connected solidly. Counting back to last year, Black now has 10 goals in the last 3 games he's played against Mount Allison.
The second half saw no scoring, but it did become progressively physical. Hard fought battles as fatigue and frustration set in. Aggressive play ramped up and Matthias Girouard (Trois-Ruisseaux, NB) of Mount Allison and Neil Spires (Hubley, NS) both received yellows cards in the final 15 minutes for dangerous tackles.
The Huskies improve to 3-0 on the season and face Acadia next, in Wolfville Sunday, while the Mounties drop to 0-3-0 and host Cape Breton the same day
By Ethan Lycan-Lang, SMU Communications
Photo Nick Pearce