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Reds women keep on rolling in win over Panthers

The good times keep on rolling for the UNB Varsity Reds women’s soccer team.

The team finished the 2013 Atlantic University Sport (AUS) campaign with just four wins. On Friday night at BMO Centre, UNB collected their fourth victory of the 2014 season in just their fifth game, dispatching the UPEI Panthers 4-1.

UNB’s offence was the star of the show as the team registered a season high four goals and 12 shots.

“We probably could have even taken advantage of a few more opportunities,” said coach Jon Crossland after the match. “There were more there for us if we had had a little bit more composure at times. But we’ll take four goals and a win.”

Laura McNicholas led the way on offence, scoring her second and third goals of the season. Lauren Cubbon and Sam Lagacy also scored for the Reds.

“She’s been good,” said Crossland of McNicholas. “You get the good, the bad, and the ugly with Laura. She can score on set pieces and contribute that way and she’s also fast and likes to step up in the play.

“With her, it’s just a matter of making sure she makes the right plays at the right times.”

The Reds opened the scoring in the 17th minute as Cubbon kicked in a rebound. Less than four minutes later, UPEI’s Jenna McDonald scored to tie things at 1-1.

In the 28th minute, UNB’s Eden Vanderlaan let a long shot go that just dribbled wide of the far post.

The V-Reds retook the lead in the 32nd minute as McNicholas beat Panthers goalkeeper Ashley McKenna.

Paige Vincent then had a great chance to put UNB in front by two near the end of regulation time but her header was denied by a diving McKenna.

UNB made it 3-1 in the 59th minute as McNicholas scored her second of the match. A few minutes after the goal, the Reds had a couple of good scoring chances but just missed the net on each.

Lagacy rounded out the scoring in stoppage time, making it a 4-1 final.

UNB outshot UPEI 12-6 overall with shots 6-3 in each half. Reds goalkeeper Sami-Jo Bell continues to be solid in net and has played every minute for the team so far this season.

“The thing about her is that she doesn’t get rattled too often,” said Crossland. “In the first three plays of the game she got hard challenges on her but she just popped back up and kept going. I think that drives her a little bit more to be successful.”

The V-Reds remain atop the AUS standings with a 4-0-1 record for 13 points. Including exhibition games, the team has lost just one game all year and that was a month ago against Southern New Hampshire University.

Up next for the squad is a pair of road games this weekend. On Friday night the Reds travel to Antigonish to battle the StFX X-Women for the first time this season. On Saturday they return to New Brunswick to take on the Mount Alison Mounties in Sackville.

UNB’s next home game is Sunday, Oct. 5 against Dalhousie.

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