© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Adam Lowther of the UPEI Panthers gets tangled up with a Mount Allison player near the Panther net during AUS soccer action at UPEI Sunday. Mount A won 2-0.
An 88th minute goal by striker Maria Schchilone gave the UPEI women’s soccer Panthers a close 2-1 victory Sunday at the UPEI turf in a horrendous weather conditions.
In an afternoon of torrential rain, both UPEI and Mount A women’s soccer teams battled it out, both looking for their first win of the season.
It was UPEI that opened the scoring in the 34th minute. Captain Schchilone picked up her first of two on the day when she was set up by her striker mate Tessa Fudge on a nice drop pass at the top of the box. Schchilone let fly with a 20-yard high looping strike that beat Mount A keeper Robin Bessemer just under the crossbar.
In the second half at the 60th minute, Mount A striker Amanda Volcko got into a beautiful 25-yard drive that went off the underside of the crossbar to beat Panther keeper Ashley McKenna. It looked as though the game was going to end a draw until the Panthers were awarded a free kick 22 yards out, directly in front of the Mount A goal. Schchilone found the net just inside Bessemer’s right post to give the Panthers their first win of the season and four points on the weekend.
“Lewis told me that when I get a chance like this to just put my head down and shoot, and that’s what I did,” said Schchilone.
“We got at them early and carried the play well,” said assistant coach John O’Brien.
The Panthers had the edge in shots toward goal, 12-8. Shots on goal were 6-6. UPEI outfouled Mount A 12-7, while Mount A had the edge in corner kicks, 7-4.
Mount Allison learned some lessons from their loss to the Panthers in the Mulligan Cup, scoring two goals in the second half to stun the UPEI squad 2-0.
UPEI had the Mounties pinned in their own end the last 20 minutes of the first half but were unable to find the net, which would turn out to be their undoing. Mount A’s first goal came in the 54th minute when striker Jeff Owen took advantage of a defensive miscue to open the scoring. Then, in the 68th minute, Conner McCumber headed home Mount A’s second goal to seal UPEI’s fate.
Shots toward goal were 17-10 in favour of UPEI, with shots on goal giving the edge to Mount A, 5-4. Mount A outfouled UPEI 17-12, picking up three yellow cards while UPEI had two.
“With our chances in the first half, we didn’t take them,” said assistant coach Bruce Norton. “Their chances in the second half they did.”
It was game where neither the UPEI Panthers nor the UNB Reds really wanted to make a mistake and the result was evident as neither team was able to generate any real scoring opportunities. There was no question, it was a game that if either team scored a goal, it was going to be a game winner. Caution prevailed resulting in the scoreless draw that game both sides their one point.
Gusty winds caused problems for both squads but neither team was able to crack their opposition’s back four. The first half gave a slight edge to the Reds with Panther keeper Ashley McKenna coming up big when she had to. In the second half with the diagonal wind advantage the Panther pressed late in the game to no avail.
Shots directed towards goal were even at seven apiece, while the Panthers led in shots on goal at 5-4. UNB outfouled UPEI 8-4 and had the edge in corner kicks 4-1.
Panther third-year centre back Donoe Latrou showed strength and poise in a position she was not used to in sticking tackles and clearing her line.
“Until this year I’ve never played centre back,” said Latrou. “I guess my coach saw something in me for this position. As a team I think we played solid, we just lacked the urgency we needed to beat UNB.”
“I think 0-0 is a fair result,'' said Page. “I think the wind was a factor in the game that made it difficult for both teams to play. You know at the end of the day, no one really deserved to win and no one deserved to lose.”
The UPEI men’s soccer Panthers scored first, gave up a quick counter goal and then hung on with a disciplined defence to earn a hard fought 1-1 draw against a very determined UNB Reds side Saturday afternoon at the UPEI turf field.
UPEI drew first blood in the 29th minute when third-year striker Cole MacMillan corralled a long free kick off the foot of four-year centre back Adam Lowther and beat Red keeper Adam Murray back across goal. It took only two minutes for the Reds to even the score on a nice 18-yard strike from Youssuf Mohammod. The half ended 1-1 as did the game, but there were many opportunities that kept the game in doubt right to the final whistle.
The Panthers were outshot 21-4 with shots towards goal and 9-4 with shots at goal. UPEI outfouled UNB 15-6 and the Reds had the edge in in corners 10-2.
MacMillan was easily the most dangerous man on the pitch with his quickness and speed.
“This was a tough game,” said MacMillan. “On the goal I just saw the ball and there was a scramble and I just got away a quick shot.”
"It was a good point for us” said Page. “That was a very good team. They are going to beat a lot of teams this year. We’ve got some boys out with illness and injuries, so it was a good start for us.