The UNB Varsity Reds women’s soccer team wrapped up pre-season action with a win and draw against the Bishop’s Gaiters last weekend at BMO Centre.
On Friday, Lauren Cubbon, Nicola Small, and Ellen Arsenault scored in UNB’s 3-0 victory. On Saturday, the Reds hit a couple posts and a crossbar in a 0-0 draw.
“I thought it was a little bit slower than yesterday,” said UNB head coach Jon Crossland following Saturday’s contest. “But as the game went along we got a little bit faster and a little bit better and you saw that when we played at a quicker tempo and made good decisions and made proper passes that we took over the game.”
The scoreless draw wasn’t without chances. UNB outshot the Gaiters 7-2.
“It’s just a matter of finding the final piece,” said Crossland. “We had three goal posts and crosses in the box that didn’t get finished.”
“Overall, a pretty decent performance.”
Sami-Jo Bell made two saves in net for the Reds while Rebecca Bensimon made seven.
On Friday, Cubbon scored in the sixth minute to give the V-Reds an early 1-0 advantage. UNB had a couple other quality chances in a first half but could not connect.
In the second, Sam Lagacy stole the ball from Bishop’s goalkeeper Molly Bucholtz but could not get a shot off in time. Kayla Painter then had an opportunity as she ran through some traffic to get into the goal area but was denied by Bucholtz.
In the 65th minute, Eden Vanderlaan sprung Small on a break. She would make no mistake to make it 2-0 Reds.
UNB added another in the 88th minute from Arsenault to make it a 3-0 final. The Reds outshot the Gaiters 8-1 in the game. Brittany Carroll got the win in net.
Earlier in the week, the Reds travelled to New Hampshire for a pair of exhibition contests. The squad lost their first game, 1-0, to Southern New Hampshire University but rebounded the following day and tied St. Anselm College 1-1. Cubbon had UNB’s only goal.
The V-Reds can now look ahead to their Atlantic University Sport regular season that begins this weekend with a pair of games at Memorial University. The Sea-Hawks made the AUS post-season last year with a 5-4-4 record and will give UNB a good test in their first conference game.
“We have to match them physically,” Crossland said in an earlier interview with the Brunswickan. “They’re a physically strong and fast team. [MUN head coach Walt Mavin] has done a very good job of recruiting over the past couple years. We’re going to have to match their physical intensity in the game and take advantage of opportunities.”
Crossland said that getting the regular season off to a good start is important.
“There is no time for us to ease into this thing. We’ve got to be all in here the first two weekends because we’re playing three teams that [include] AUS finalists last year and a playoff team right off the bat. We’re going to have to be ready to go.”
The women’s soccer team’s home opener is on Sept. 13 against Cape Breton. They host Acadia the following day.