The Men’s UNB Varsity Reds soccer team is hoping to improve on a season where they found success at the AUS and CIS levels.
The Reds finished atop the AUS standings in 2014, with an 11-0-2 record, and were crowned AUS Champions for the second consecutive season. The V-Reds were ousted by a strong McMaster squad in the quarterfinals of the CIS championships.
UNB tied the game in dramatic fashion during the final minutes of regular time and forced the game to OT, which solved nothing. UNB would go on to lose on penalty kicks and become silver medal winners.
It was a painful loss, but it gave the V-Reds a boost in confidence knowing that they are able to compete with the best teams across the country. They are heading into the 2015 season seeking to build on their previous accolades.
“It’s an ongoing evolution. Every season is completely different, with new players coming in and players leaving, so every team looks different year-to-year,” said Miles Pinsent, the coach of the men’s soccer team.
“Talent-wise we are well off, it is just a matter of how we are going to fit together as a team and that will come with time. We like the path we have been on the past few seasons and we want to continue to build on that and strive be one of the best teams in the country.”
The V-Reds recruited eleven new players for the 2015 season. Pinsent added, “We have a very strong, very large recruiting class this season. The class was probably larger than I anticipated, but we are very happy.”
Fullback George Lawton is the V-Reds captain this year, but that does not mean he will be the sole player occupying a leadership position.
“We don’t need to rely on any certain one person for leadership, we rely on a complete team game that requires every player to be accountable,” said Pinsent.
The V-Reds played three pre-season games against Laval, UQTR and Concordia on Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1, respectively. They had two narrow 1-0 defeats to Laval and UQTR and notched a 3-0 win versus Concordia.
The V-Reds regular season gets underway with back-to-back away games at Cape Breton and StFX on Sept. 12 and 13.
“The first weekend of the season could potentially be the most difficult of the season looking at the match-ups, as CBU and StFX were second and third last year in the AUS,” Pinsent said.
“It’ll be a good challenge, especially on the road, but based on how camp is going we have a good feel of what we have and hopefully it will all come together successfully.”