Oliver Jones’ goal in the 90th minute on Sunday gave the UNB Varsity Reds men’s soccer team another perfect weekend.
On a nice setup from Diego Padilha, Jones’ goal gave the Varsity Reds a dramatic 1-0 victory over the Dalhousie Tigers on a rainy day at BMO Centre. UNB also defeated the Université de Moncton 1-0 on Friday.
“We didn’t exactly come out and play the way we wanted to play but we fought as hard as we could,” said Jones after the game. “The boys really put a good effort in and it paid it off. We got the goal in the end and got the three points.”
The win improved the V-Reds to 8-0-1 on the season which is good for first in the Atlantic University Sport standings. Entering the Thanksgiving weekend break, UNB has a six-point lead on second-place Cape Breton.
Despite picking up the win on Sunday, the Reds were far from perfect.
“[Dalhousie] went to a man down and we didn’t want to get ourselves into a false sense of security,” said Jones, referring to Dalhousie’s Tyler Lewars who was given a red card in the second half following a hard tackle. “We moved the ball well but we would have liked to have put a couple more goals past them and put in a performance that was really outstanding.”
Coach Miles Pinsent was disappointed in his team’s performance.
“Lackluster, lacked energy and we really didn’t stick to the game plan. As a result, we gave a very determined team in Dalhousie a real good chance at not only getting a tie but perhaps getting full points out of it.”
UNB doesn’t play again until Oct. 17 when they travel to Charlottetown to face the UPEI Panthers. Jones said the team has some things to work on before their next match.
“I think we can move the ball better and have better link up play,” said the striker. “I know we’re capable of much better than what we put in today. That’s something that, as soon as we come back from Thanksgiving, we’re going to work very hard at in training.”
UNB had several good chances in the first 15 minutes of the game but Tigers goalkeeper TJ Leopold made a few good stops to keep things scoreless. Shots in the opening half were 4-1 in favour of UNB.
In the 49th minute, Steve Miller fired the ball into the box for Marcus Lees who sent a header just high of the goal. Soon after, Padilha fired a soft ball through some traffic that found its way to Leopold but the Tigers keeper made the save.
The second half was quite physical with four yellow cards and a red being handed out. The Reds were able to create a few scoring chances through the roughness but could not connect.
Finally at the end of regulation time, Jones scored the lone goal of the match to give the V-Reds a 1-0 victory.
Shots overall in the match were 8-2 in favour of the Reds. Reds goalkeeper Aaron McMurray made two stops in the win.
On Friday in Moncton, Shea Nordheim’s goal in the 15th minute proved to be the winner. The Varsity Reds outshot the Aigles Bleus 11-8 overall with seven of their shots coming in the first half.
McMurray made three saves for the shutout victory.
UNB’s next home match is on Oct. 19 against Moncton.