The Dalhousie Tigers men’s soccer team (6-3-4) is headed to the 2013 Subway AUS Men’s Soccer championships this weekend at Saint Mary’s as the third seed, the highest they’ve been since 2010.
For the past five years the Tigers have been eliminated in the AUS championship semifinals, including last year’s heart-breaking loss to UNB on an own-goal.
Their first test will be taking on the sixth-place Acadia Axemen (5-4-4) on Friday, November 1 at 12:00 p.m. The Axemen won the season series this year, winning 2-0 on September 21 in Wolfville, and tying the Tigers 1-1 last Friday night at Wickwire Field.
Although the Tigers had a better record this season, head coach Pat Nearing knows that this will be no easy test for his squad. “We have had great games against Acadia this year,” he says. “They have a very good, well-rounded team with strong players in every position. We have more experience in the playoffs, which is a very different level of competition than our league play. I think that for all the playoff games this year it will come down to playing at your best on the day of and being lucky with injuries and key bounces in the game.”
Nearing says that their two centre backs and captains, Jordan Mannix and Nathan Rogers, (2012 AUS second team all-star), will be key to the Tigers success this weekend. The two fifth-year defenders bring a wealth of playoff experience and leadership to the squad.
It’s been an up and down season for the Tigers, who stumbled out of the gate and were 3-3-2 after a 1-0 loss to Saint Mary’s on September 25. Since then, the Tigers are undefeated going 3-0-3. They have only allowed three goals in their last six games.
Acadia’s season started off strong, and in their first seven games they went 4-2-1. Since then, the team has struggled, going 1-2-3, finishing the season with a 2-1 victory over UPEI.
The 2013 Subway AUS Men’s Soccer Championship gets underway on November 1 at Saint Mary’s Huskies Stadium. For a complete schedule, click here.
You can catch every game of the championship live online at www.AUStv.ca
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