Sea-Hawks salvage scoreless tie to go with loss to Huskies, clinging to playoff spot
© Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
St. Mary's Huskies Elvir Gigolaj (left) and Memorial University Sea-Hawks defender Chris Pope (22) chase down a loose ball during their Atlantic University Sport varisty soccer match at King George V Park Saturday.
Back-to-back saves by Luke Olmstead helped Memorial salvage a scoreless tie against Saint Mary’s, but a blown scoring opportunity in the first half could have given the Sea-Hawks a much-needed win in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) men’s soccer Sunday at King George V Park.
MUN rookie forward Johnathan Scribner from Antigonish N.S., looked to have a sure goal on his boot at the 31- minute mark after being set up nicely by Steve DeLong at the top of the 18-yard box.
Scribner got behind SMU goalkeeper Adam Miller in the six-yard box but then, incredibly, missed an open net.
Scribner couldn’t believe he failed to score and pounded the turf in frustration.
Memorial coach Scott Betts said he didn’t say anything to Scribner after the match.
“He’s a first-year,” Betts noted.
Olmstead, who is from Fredericton, N.B., came up big at the 57-minute mark. He stopped Ian Coke cold on a breakaway and then recovered in time to block a shot by Peter Garonis on the rebound.
“It was a good effort and we deserved a good result out of it,” said Betts of Sunday’s match. “We changed our plan to focus on our defensive play and I think everyone stepped it up.”
The one point gave MUN (3-4-2) 11 points on the season, good enough for a sixth-place tie with UNB Varsity Reds and one ahead of UPEI for the final playoff spot.
MUN’s best scoring chance in the second half came at the 68-minute mark when DeLong sent a perfect through pass to Scott Woodfine who booted the ball just inches wide of the corner on a low shot across the face of the goal.
SMU blasted a long shot off the crossbar seven minutes before full time.
MUN defender Chris Pope was solid in Sunday’s match, especially in helping to shut down SMU’s speedy striker Jhonattan Cordoba.
Cordoba scored and assisted on another goal in SMU’s 2-0 win Saturday.
Delong was stopped on a penalty kick with about 20 minutes to play in Sunday’s match.
MUN, which has scored only two goals in its last five matches, travels to Prince Edward island next weekend for a pair of games against UPEI Panthers.
AUS SOCCER Standings
Team GP W L T PTS
St. Francis Xavier 9 9 0 0 27
Saint Mary’s 10 6 2 2 20
Dalhousie 9 4 3 2 14
Cape Breton 9 3 3 3 12
Moncton 9 3 3 3 12
UNB 8 3 3 2 11
Memorial 9 3 4 2 11
UPEI 9 3 5 1 10
Mount Allison 7 1 5 1 4
Acadia 9 1 8 0 3