CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The UPEI Panthers picked up where they left off in their last pre-season game against the Mount Allison Mounties Friday night at the UPEI Field Turf with a comfortable 4-0 victory.
The Panthers listened to coach Lewis Page, came out strong and by the 20th minute had a 3-0 lead. The first goal came in the fourth minute when Nacho Sanchez sent Panther striker Moe Jaber in alone on a 40-yard breakaway. After deeking the Mountie keeper, he was easily able to walk the ball into the back of the net.
UPEI’s second goal came seven minutes later when rookie midfielder Duncan Murray scored his first Atlantic University Sport (AUS) regular season goal on a perfect pass from midfielder Lucas Ross. In the 19th minute Sanchez made it 3-0 on a penalty kick.
The Panthers dominated the rest of the half with crisp passing and solid defence, allowing the Mounties their only weak chance of the game. UPEI got their fourth goal in the 75th minute when Ross gobbled up a loose ball inside the six-yard area that gave the Mountie keeper Davis Desbarats no chance. Panther keeper Nathan Ford picked up his first clean sheet of the young season.
UPEI’s defence was rock solid again as the Panthers have yet to concede a goal in the regular season, but it was the control of the midfield that kept all aspects of the Mount Allison game at bay.
“We’ve come off a pretty strong pre-season and every game we play hard to not allow anyone to score,” said Ross. “They’re a hard-working team and they won’t give up and our leaders stepped up to the plate. I think the whole team came out really strong early and Mount A just couldn’t come back.”
The Panthers next home game is against 2017 national champion Cape Breton Capers Sunday afternoon. This will be the first big test for the Panthers in their push for recognition as a challenger for the 2018 AUS title.
- Compiled by Fred Foster, UPEI men’s soccer team manager.