Thunderbirds blank Axemen, to play for Fifth

Thunderbirds blank Axemen, to play for Fifth

GUELPH, Ont. (U Sports)
 – The UBC Thunderbirds rebounded from a heartbreaking quarterfinal loss to defeat the Acadia Axemen 3-0 in the second consolation semifinal of the CIS men's soccer championship, Friday afternoon. 

The Thunderbirds, who lost 3-2 in extra time to UQAM in Thursday's opening round, advance to the consolation final for fifth place on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. ET. UBC will face the defending national champion York Lions in the game.

"Today was a difficult game to play in, but we stressed to the guys that this was a game for the seniors - we have five graduating seniors and we wanted to send them off in a positive fashion and for that I'm very proud of the way we played today," said UBC head coach Mike Mosher. "Looking ahead to tomorrow against a good team like York, we'll use it as an experience and make the best of it."  

The result marked the end of the season for Acadia, which dropped a 2-2 decision in penalty kicks to the host Guelph Gryphons in Thursday's first round. 

"We knew today was going to be physically exhausting for us after having a number of injuries and losing in last night's game in PKs," said Acadia head coach Findlay MacRae. "I'm very happy with how we played yesterday, and given the progress we've made it's been a great learning experience for the players."

Lucas Reis, a fourth-year midfielder from Port Moody, B.C. opened the scoring in the 16th minute. An initial shot on net was deflected by Acadia goalkeeper Pietro Nottegar of Dartmouth, N.S., as Reis didn't hesitate to get it past the keeper for a 1-0 UBC lead.

Only minutes later, UBC's leading scorer during the regular season, Titouan Chopien of Kaslo, B.C., struck the ball from the top of the 18-yard box – and despite being surrounded by Axemen - riffled a shot and put it into the top left corner.

While the Canada West finalist Thunderbirds controlled possession in the first half, it was the AUS finalist Axemen who tallied the best chances coming off an excellent counter attack, but couldn't get past UBC second-year goalie Chad Bush of Ottawa. 

In the second half, UBC continued to control possession of the game, as neither teams tallied many shots. Then, solidifying the 3-0 win was forward Luke Griffin of Coquitlam, B.C., who scored a brilliant individual goal inside the box, just beating the outstretched arm of the keeper, inside the left post in the 82nd minute. 

The UBC Thunderbirds will now play the York Lions in the CIS fifth-place game, which is scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 12.



UBC: 2-1: 3
ACA: 0-0: 0

First Half
1. UBC Lucas Reis (1), 16:41

2. UBC Titouan Chopin (1), 19:09


Second Half
3. UBC Luke Griffin (1) 82:24

UBC: Chad Bush (W 0 GA, 0 save, 90:00, 1-1)

ACA: Pietro Nottegar (L 3 GA, 1 save, 90:00, 0-1)


Team Stats
Shots: UBC 10, ACA 5

Shots on net: UBC 4, ACA 2
Corners: UBC 3, ACA 2
Offsides: UBC 2, ACA 1
Fouls: UBC 0, ACA 0
Yellow cards: None

Red cards: None


Players of the game:

UBC: Bryan Fong

ACA: Cooper Coats