(ANTIGONISH, N.S.) Sophomore midfielder Liam Elbourne (Halifax, NS) tallied three goals as the StFX X-Men (1-0-1) scored a 4-0 victory over the visiting UNB Varsity Reds (0-2-0) in AUS soccer action Sunday afternoon at Oland Stadium.
In the fourth minute, first-year forward Jan Jiskra (Prague, Czech Republic) had an opportunity to open the scoring for the X-Men, but his shot from in tight against UNB goalkeeper Brandon Eagle (Edmonton, AB) went over the crossbar.
Elbourne, the Subway player of the match, put StFX on the board in the 12th minute when he took a pass from Jiskra and blasted a low shot behind Eagle.
In the 22nd minute, UNB looked for the equalizer, but X-Men goalkeeper Thomas Pieroway (Conception Bay, NL) made the save on a Robert Park (Glasgow, Scotland) shot from the top of the box.
StFX freshman midfielder Dan Hayfield (Exeter, UK) had a chance to extend the X-Men lead, but he could not convert a free-kick opportunity in the 36th minute.
In the 39th minute, UNB striker Oliver Jones (London, UK) struck a hard high shot that Pieroway deflected over the crossbar.
One minute later, Jones had another scoring opportunity from the penalty area, but Pieroway thwarted him again.
In the 41st minute, Jiskra doubled the X-Men advantage when he sped by the UNB backline and beat Eagle with a low left-footed shot.
Early in the second half, in the 52nd minute, X-Men captain Randy Ribeiro (Cambridge, ON) lofted a great pass that sent defender Serge Dossou (Calgary, AB) in alone, before he was hauled down by UNB defender Max Vitrotti (Fredericton, NB) in the penalty area. On the resulting penalty kick by Ribeiro, Eagle dove to his left and made an excellent save to keep the Varsity Reds in the match.
With UNB trying to rally, the X-Men defense remained stout, with Pieroway making a couple key saves from being aggressive off his line.
In the 78th minute, the Jiskra-Elbourne tandem teamed-up again, with Jiskra beating his UNB defender before centering to a wide-open Elbourne, who made no mistake to give the X-Men a 3-0 lead.
In extra time, Dossou broke in alone once again and was hauled down by Eagle, who received a red card for the tackle. On the resulting penalty kick, Elbourne completed his three-goal day by beating UNB goalkeeper Adam Grant (Fredericton, NB), who came off the bench to replace Eagle.
Pieroway made saves four in the shutout win, while Eagle turned aside four shots in the loss.
Senior fullback George Lawton (Bolton, UK) was named player of the match for the Varsity Reds.
The Varsity Reds will return to action Saturday, Sept. 19, when they host the Dalhousie Tigers in Fredericton at 3:15 p.m.
The X-Men will be on the road for their next match, visiting Charlottetown Friday, Sept. 18 to face the UPEI Panthers at 7:15 p.m.
With files from StFX Sports Information.