Coach Page pleased with men’s effort despite loss that leaves Panthers needing a lot of help to make playoffs
© Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong
Guaridan file photo
The UPEI women soccer Panthers moved one step closer to clinching a playoff position with a 2-1 victory over the University of Moncton Thursday night at the UPEI Turf.
The win didn’t come easy as Donya Solomon-Ali opened the scoring in the fourth minute for Moncton.
UPEI fought back and tied the game in the 26th minute
when Maria Scichilone let go a blistering shot that rang off the crossbar and down inside the goal line.
And then in the first minute of stoppage time in the first half, Scichilone sent Emilie Pelletier in all alone on the Moncton keeper with a perfect pass.
Pelletier took a touch and placed a clinical shot just inside the keeper’s right post for the game winner.
The second half Moncton tried to push for the equalizer but could not mount any sustained attack. The Panther back line did its job and kept its lines clear.
Panther player of the game Melissa Burke was tenacious in midfield fighting off attackers.
Panther keeper Ashley McKenna picked up her fifth win of the season to bring her team into a tie for fourth place with Moncton.
The UPEI men were not as fortunate as Moncton scored in the 13th minute on a wide free kick that somehow found its way through a mass of feet into the goal in front of a surprised Panther team. That proved to be the only chance Moncton had during the game but it was all it needed as the Panthers were unable to capitalize on numberous scoring chances.
You had to like the Panther’s chances when Moncton Mehyer Zakaroui was sent off late in the first half for violent conduct leaving them down a player for the remainder of the game. Yet UPEI, although completely dominating the Blue Eagles in the second half, was unable to score.
“It was a bad result but not a bad effort,” said coach Lewis Page. “All we’ve ever asked of them is to compete to the best of their ability and they did that today. We created enough chances that we probably should have won the game 3-1.”
This leaves the Panthers in a serious hole with only a minute chance of advancing to the AUS finals. UPEI will finish out the season on Saturday on the road against Acadia.