With a strong second half surge, the StFX X-Men rallied from a one-goal deficit, but could not notch the game-winner in a 1-1 tie with the visiting Université de Moncton Aigles Bleus Saturday afternoon at Oland Stadium.
It was the AUS regular season opener for both teams.
In the fifth minute, Moncton took the lead on a great individual effort by forward Christian Yapi (Ivory Coast), who beat the X-Men defenders to the outside before depositing a low shot behind goalkeeper Thomas Pieroway (Conception Bay, NL).
The X-Men generated their first quality score chance of the match in the ninth minute, when sophomore midfielder Liam Elbourne (Halifax, NS) got behind two Moncton defenders before lofting a shot behind goalkeeper Louis Bergeron (Trois Rivières, QC) but it sailed over the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Elbourne got another opportunity from the top of the box, but Bergeron made another sharp save.
In the 27th minute, senior defender Serge Dossou (Calgary, AB) made his way behind the Moncton defense, but his difficult right-footed volley attempt hit the side of the net.
In the 32nd minute, Yapi broke in alone, but Pieroway made a sliding save on the charging forward.
Late in the first half, the X-Men had a couple opportunities off set pieces, including a pair of hard shots from team captain Randy Ribeiro (Cambridge, ON).
With the X-Men coming out of the locker room determined to start the second half, they notched the equalizer in the 47th minute on a great play from sophomore midfielder Natneal Tecle (Calgary, AB). After putting moves on three Moncton defenders, he brought the ball to the middle before hammering a curving shot behind Bergeron.
Less than one minute later, in the 48th minute, Tecle almost gave the X-Men their first lead. After making a steal, he chipped a nifty shot just wide of the far post.
In the 53rd minute, Tecle raced into the Moncton zone before dropping off a pass to first-year forward Jan Jiskra (Prague, Czech Republic), who ripped a shot, but a charging Bergeron made a sliding save with his left foot.
After Miguel Bryar (Madran, NB) received a red card in the 62nd minute, Moncton played one player short for the rest of the match.
The X-Men pressed, but they could not get the go-ahead goal.
In the 69th minute, Poirier used his left foot again – this time thwarting Dossou, before gobbling up the rebound off a subsequent Elbourne header.
In the 82nd minute, Ribeiro raced by Ahmed Abdul-Rahman (Ghana), but he bounced his left-footed shot off the outside of the Moncton net.
In the final minutes of the match, Bergeron made two more saves off Dossou, which preserved the tie for the visitors.
Bergeron, his team's player of the game, made nine saves in the loss, while Pieroway turned aside three Moncton opportunities for the win.
Tecle was named Subway player of the match for the X-Men.