TORONTO, ON – The final day of the AUS men’s and women’s soccer seasons couldn’t be closer to call.
With six spots available in the men’s playoffs, four have been sealed ahead of the 12th and final matchday. However, the final two come down to a battle between the Saint Mary’s Huskies, Moncton Aigles-Bleus, Dalhousie Tigers and Acadia Axemen.
In the 10-team league, only UPEI and Mount Allison are eliminated heading into their final games — does it get much better than that?
At the top of the table, the Cape Breton Capers have clinched first place with a 9-0-2 undefeated record heading into the final matchday. In contrast, the StFX X-Men (8-2-1) has secured the second position, which gives the top two a bye through the opening round.
The UNB Reds sit secured in third with a 6-2-3 record, while the Memorial Seahawks have clinched a playoff spot in either fifth or sixth place.
Yet, the space around the looming red cutoff line is most intriguing.
The SMU Huskies hold the advantage in their hopes of claiming one of the final two spots, sitting on 15 points, a full win ahead of the teams clipping at their heels. However, their match against last-place Mount Allison remains critical, as a loss could see them bow out on tiebreakers.
Any point against Mount Allison would clinch the Huskies a playoff spot — potentially as high as fourth place, should Memorial drop points against Acadia.
While the Huskies will be favoured to clinch given the opponent at hand, the final three teams vying for the sixth and ultimate playoff spot will have drama on the final day.
Moncton and Dalhousie both sit on 12 points, with Moncton holding the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, Acadia sits on 11 points.
Moncton faces the toughest test on the final day, with a match against the first-place CBU Capers, with only a win securing the playoff berth in their control. However, a loss could place Moncton in the post-season, should Dalhousie lose to the UPEI Panthers and Acadia drop points against Memorial.
For Dalhousie, the playoff spot will come down to either a win over UPEI or a Moncton and Acadia loss. Meanwhile, the Axemen need to win against Memorial and hope both Moncton and Dalhousie drop points.
The playoffs provide exceptional drama for a small league on the final matchday as teams seek a spot at the AUS Soccer Championships.
WSOC: StFX aim for perfect AUS season, and the playoff battle
While the final day of the AUS men’s soccer regular season is filled with drama, the women’s division is pretty well settled heading into the final day. That is, outside of a battle for the final playoff spot.
The 11-0-0 StFX X-Women will look to complete a perfect season, when they take on the UNB Reds on the final matchday. Should they complete the perfect 12-0-0 regular season campaign, it would be the first time for an AUS women’s soccer team since at least 1999, which is as far back as the AUS online records go.
StFX has scored 46 goals and conceded just three in their 11 matches this season — rightfully clinched in the top spot.
That mark is well above what head coach Graham Kennedy expected of his group this season, saying, “It is all about getting into the playoffs because there are four or five teams that are capable of winning a championship, including us,” back in August.
Cape Breton has secured the second spot on 28 points, while Acadia’s 23 points has locked them into the third seed.
The Dalhousie Tigers enter the final matchday against UPEI as the fourth seed in the conference, one point in front of Memorial, who sit fifth with a remaining match against Acadia. However, the highest either team can finish is fourth, and the lowest is fifth.
That leaves the sixth and final playoff spot up for grabs, with UPEI, UNB, and SMU all within contention. However, the Panthers hold a slight one-point advantage, meaning a win against Dalhousie clinches them a post-season berth on their own accord.
UNB would need to win or draw their last match against first-place StFX and hope for UPEI and SMU to drop points. For SMU, they would need to erase a -23 goal deficit and have UPEI and UNB lose to qualify with a tie — leaving a win against last-place Mount Allison the most conceivable while also hoping the other two sides drop points.
Whoever sneaks into the final playoff spot would face Acadia in the opening round, while Dalhousie and Memorial have already confirmed themselves for the other round one matchup.
It’s bound to be a thrilling final day of AUS soccer, and fans can watch each match for free on AUS TV.