(ANTIGONISH, NS) The UNB Varsity Reds and St. FX X-Men played to a scoreless draw on Sunday afternoon, at St. FX Stadium.
Goalkeepers Thomas Pieroway(Conception Bay, NL), of the X-Men, and the Varsity Reds' Evan Barker(Winnipeg, MB) recorded the shutouts for their respective teams.
In the first half, there were few scoring opportunities, with the first coming from UNB senior fullback Kalen Park(Calgary, AB), whose left-footed free-kick from 35 yards out was gobbled up by Pieroway.
In the eighth minute, off a defensive miscue, Pieroway had to make a quick retreat before diving to grab the ball before it crossed his goal line.
A short time later, off a Park corner kick, which eluded Pieroway, sophomore midfielder Jose Lopez (Calgary, AB) got a weak shot behind the keeper, but X defenders were able to clear the ball off the goal line.
In the 13th minute, the X-Men had a free-kick opportunity, but sophomore wing back Joe Ward(Newport, South Wales) struck the ball into the Varsity Reds' defensive wall.
After freshman forward Tane Caubo(London, England) made a run and was hauled down by UNB's Max Vitrotti(Fredericton, NB), the X-Men received another free kick, which the UNB defence, again, blocked.
In the 31st minute, off a corner kick from senior midfielder Diego Padilha(Maceio, Brazil), Pieroway soared to punch the ball out of harm's way.
In the second half, senior midfielder Marcus Lees(Barrie, ON) centered the ball for Ben Gorridge(Halifax, NS), but his strike sailed over the crossbar.
In the 53rd minute, Vitrotti received a red card, as a result of his second yellow card of the match, after again hauling down Caubo, which resulted in the visitors playing with 10 men for the rest of the contest.
Off a great left-footed cross from freshman midfielder Nick Ellingwood Quispamsis, NB), in the 69th minute, Lopez directed a diving header towards Pieroway, who made a sprawling stop by his goalpost to keep UNB off the score sheet.
Less than a minute later, off a free kick from 25 yards, Padilha ripped a shot over the crossbar.
In the 74th minutes, X's William Warren(Windsor, NS) split a pair of UNB defenders and darted into the box and fired a crossing shot. Barker had to make a huge short-side save along the goal line after his fifth-year defender and captain George Lawton(Bolton, UK) made a sliding block that deflected the ball on net.
In the dying seconds, junior forward James Fitzpatrick (Victoria, BC) took a pass from sophomore forward Ben Herringer(Calgary, AB), but Barker made a diving stop off the hard shot.
In his AUS debut, Ellingwood was named UNB's Subway Player of the Game. Dustin Benetti(Calgary, AB) earned the honour for the X-Men.
The X-Men return to the pitch on Saturday, when they travel to Moncton, while the Varsity Reds host the Memorial Sea Hawks in UNB's home opener.
Kick-off for both matches is 3:15PM.
By: St. FX Sports Information
PHOTO CREDIT: Gordon La