Men’s frustrating season continues

Soccer team loses to playoff-bound rivals.

Temperatures were similar to a January matchup on Curly Lambeau’s field at MacAulay last Friday night. The wind was blowing with force, and temperatures had dropped significantly after what had been a beautiful fall day. The Mount Allison Men’s Soccer Mounties entertained the Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus (UdeM) in an Atlantic University Sport (AUS) matchup that would have an affect on the playoff picture.

UdeM sat on the cusp of a playoff spot before the game started with twelve points. Conversely, the Mounties sat on the outside looking in, with five points, chasing many, including the opposing Aigles Bleus.

Moncton got off to a quick start in the poor conditions. Ahmed Abdul-Rehman scored in just the seventh minute of the game. What occurred afterwards was slightly confusing, and somewhat entertaining. The Aigles Blues all ran to the corner of the field to start a celebration dance. These sorts of shenanigans are common in association football, but “we really never see that in the AUS,” said Mounties centre defender Adrian Crace.

Crace took the game into his own hands though, scoring on a header in the twenty-eighth minute. Crace moved up the pitch and was able to head the Connor McCumber throw into the net. “Connor’s got that long throw. We can use it like a set piece, and it’s just as effective as a corner or a free kick. If we can get a head on the ball then we can easily put it into the net.”

The score was not to be though. UdeM quickly regained the lead in the thirty-eighth minute on a Christian Yapi goal. The Aigles Bleus returned to their antics and produced another choreographed celebration.

UdeM would go on to score two more goals, accompanied by flamboyant celebrations. Usually in sports, once a team goes up by an insurmountable tally, antics like celebrations are usually nipped in favour of good taste. UdeM appeared to want to practice their celebrations, which elevated tensions between the two teams.

Both teams were warned about talking to the referees and complaining about the officiating. This was evident by the amount of yellow cards that were awarded to the two sides in the second half. The most notable yellow card that was awarded was to last week’s Player of the Week Kevin Seely: The first occurred while lining up for a free kick in the eighty-second minute. It wasn’t very clear what had happened on the play, but Seely and UdeM defender Alexandre Theriault were both awarded yellow cards. In extra-time, Seely looked like he was inadvertently booted in his upper chest. There was doubt as to if any incident had actually occurred, but Seely took offence to the non-call. The referee immediately dismissed him from the game, and Seely had to miss the team’s game on Sunday against the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds.

The Men still remain out of the AUS playoff race. There is no positive outlook for the team’s chances either. They will have two tough matchups against the Saint Mary’s Huskies and a game against the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers. The Mounties have been able to beat the Huskies before, but the Huskies will be heavily favoured, as they are currently in first place in AUS standings.

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