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One UPEI soccer team clinches playoff spot, the other just misses

['UPEI Logo']
['UPEI Logo']

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For the second time this season, the UPEI Panthers advance to the AUS finals by virtue of a 2-0 win over the Mount Allison Mounties in a rain-soaked game Friday night at the UPEI turf field in Charlottetown.

The win officially doused any chance the Memorial Seahawks had in taking the Panther’s sixth-place finish to advance to the AUS finals to be held in Fredericton next weekend.  

As it turned out, it wouldn’t have mattered as the Seahawks went down to the Acadia Axemen 3-0 played in St John’s.  

The Mounties defence put up a good show in the first half, keeping the Panthers off the scoresheet. To everyone watching it looked like the field was tilted in favour of UPEI as they had ball possession and kept it in the Mountie end for most of the half. However, the Panthers finishing was just not there and the half ended scoreless.

Following the break, things turned for the Panthers as two minutes into the second-half rookie striker Cohen Reddick finally broke through for his first AUS goal when he was sent down the left wing by midfielder Lucas Ross. He beat the Mountie fullback and drove a high shot to the near post just under the cross bar. “Ace (Ross) played the ball through to me,’’ said Reddick. “It was a nice ball and I took a touch on it and looked up and saw where the keeper was and just placed it in. It finally happened after all season coming so close.’’

The Panthers continued with their pressure and, in the 74th minute, fullback Jeff Moore coming out of the back took a perfectly struck ball to the back post to add the clincher. The two-goal lead gave head coach Lewis Page the opportunity to get his entire group of outfielders into the game.  

UPEI keeper Brett Strba had a relatively easy night in goal in picking up his sixth clean sheet of the season. 

“I think it was one of those games we just had to be very careful and patient,’’ said Page. “We knew we were creating goal-scoring chances and it was just a matter of time before one of them finally went in the net. It was one of those types of games where you have a veteran centre back like Mark Ashley who stayed solid all game.’’

Stats were one-sided with the Panthers having 25 shots toward goal and 10 on target while the Mounties were held to six shots toward goal and two on target. Chances also were lopsided as the Panthers had 12 chances to one for Mount Allison. Corner kicks were 6-2 in favour of the Panthers.

The Panthers are now off to Fredericton on Wednesday to prepare for their 4:30 p.m. game against the third-place finisher on Thursday. UPEI finishes the year with a 6-5-1 after a horrid 0-4-0 start.

WOMEN

The women’s soccer Panthers ended the season on a high, defeating Mount Allison 2-0 on goals by Courtney McRorie and Jerika Gimpel.

Despite the win, the Panthers will miss the playoffs by two points after Dalhousie blanked Saint Mary’s 2-0.

“I was thoroughly delighted with the way we played tonight,’’ said UPEI head coach Graeme McDonald. “Not only did we win the game but we dominated the game. We kept possession, took our chances; created a lot of chances and got two goals out of it.’’

UPEI (3-6-3) lost only two of its final eight games which could bode well for next year’s squad.

“We have a young squad. We have five or six first-years out there and to come out and play Mount Allison the way we did . . . they know that they are growing in confidence and that’s the main thing. We’re building. The girls are going to come back next year and they’ll be more confident, stronger, faster, bigger and more knowledgeable about the AUS and that’s the most important thing.’’

Guardian reporter Dave Stewart contributed to this report

 

For the second time this season, the UPEI Panthers advance to the AUS finals by virtue of a 2-0 win over the Mount Allison Mounties in a rain-soaked game Friday night at the UPEI turf field in Charlottetown.

The win officially doused any chance the Memorial Seahawks had in taking the Panther’s sixth-place finish to advance to the AUS finals to be held in Fredericton next weekend.  

As it turned out, it wouldn’t have mattered as the Seahawks went down to the Acadia Axemen 3-0 played in St John’s.  

The Mounties defence put up a good show in the first half, keeping the Panthers off the scoresheet. To everyone watching it looked like the field was tilted in favour of UPEI as they had ball possession and kept it in the Mountie end for most of the half. However, the Panthers finishing was just not there and the half ended scoreless.

Following the break, things turned for the Panthers as two minutes into the second-half rookie striker Cohen Reddick finally broke through for his first AUS goal when he was sent down the left wing by midfielder Lucas Ross. He beat the Mountie fullback and drove a high shot to the near post just under the cross bar. “Ace (Ross) played the ball through to me,’’ said Reddick. “It was a nice ball and I took a touch on it and looked up and saw where the keeper was and just placed it in. It finally happened after all season coming so close.’’

The Panthers continued with their pressure and, in the 74th minute, fullback Jeff Moore coming out of the back took a perfectly struck ball to the back post to add the clincher. The two-goal lead gave head coach Lewis Page the opportunity to get his entire group of outfielders into the game.  

UPEI keeper Brett Strba had a relatively easy night in goal in picking up his sixth clean sheet of the season. 

“I think it was one of those games we just had to be very careful and patient,’’ said Page. “We knew we were creating goal-scoring chances and it was just a matter of time before one of them finally went in the net. It was one of those types of games where you have a veteran centre back like Mark Ashley who stayed solid all game.’’

Stats were one-sided with the Panthers having 25 shots toward goal and 10 on target while the Mounties were held to six shots toward goal and two on target. Chances also were lopsided as the Panthers had 12 chances to one for Mount Allison. Corner kicks were 6-2 in favour of the Panthers.

The Panthers are now off to Fredericton on Wednesday to prepare for their 4:30 p.m. game against the third-place finisher on Thursday. UPEI finishes the year with a 6-5-1 after a horrid 0-4-0 start.

WOMEN

The women’s soccer Panthers ended the season on a high, defeating Mount Allison 2-0 on goals by Courtney McRorie and Jerika Gimpel.

Despite the win, the Panthers will miss the playoffs by two points after Dalhousie blanked Saint Mary’s 2-0.

“I was thoroughly delighted with the way we played tonight,’’ said UPEI head coach Graeme McDonald. “Not only did we win the game but we dominated the game. We kept possession, took our chances; created a lot of chances and got two goals out of it.’’

UPEI (3-6-3) lost only two of its final eight games which could bode well for next year’s squad.

“We have a young squad. We have five or six first-years out there and to come out and play Mount Allison the way we did . . . they know that they are growing in confidence and that’s the main thing. We’re building. The girls are going to come back next year and they’ll be more confident, stronger, faster, bigger and more knowledgeable about the AUS and that’s the most important thing.’’

Guardian reporter Dave Stewart contributed to this report

 

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