Men’s and women’s soccer finished their regular seasons last weekend with the women clinching fourth place in the AUS and the Men securing…
The women dropped their first match of the weekend 1-0 to an Acadia squad that clinched first place with the win. The women went on to win their second game of the weekend and final game of the season with a 3-1 win over the UPEI Panthers.
“Happy to win, happy to score goals,” said UNB head coach Jon Crossland on the win. “A little bit disappointed that we gave up that goal late because I think if we would’ve stayed at four [goals against] it would have been the top defensive record in Canada, I think it’s a tie now.”
Goals in the game were scored by Hayley Gates, who would go on to be named player of the game, Meggie Spicer and Kayla Painter.
Despite their defensive record, Crossland’s team has struggled to score goals all season.
“I’ve made a list of a few key things we that need to work on this week and we’ll just keep plugging away at it. It’s not for lack of effort or training, execution is what it comes down to and that’s what we’ll have to fine tune this week to get into it.”
The top five teams in the conference plus Moncton, who is hosting AUS, qualify for the playoffs which means UNB will face fifth ranked StFX in their quarterfinal matchup. Acadia and CBU both receive quarterfinal byes.
“I don’t think you’re happy with fourth place,” said Crossland. “But you got to get in to give yourself a chance and if you look at the results against all the teams that are in the playoffs this year, they’ve been ties or we lost by one goal.
Crossland is confident that he will have his squad ready for AUS playoff competition.
“Any day anyone can beat anyone so we’ll go in there optimistic about our chances.”
The men came away with a 1-1 result versus Acadia on Friday, after they were awarded a controversial penalty in the late stages of the game. Robert Park converted to the dot-shot to earn the draw for the Reds.
This draw gave UNB the chance to take first place in the AUS with a win versus UPEI and a CBU loss or draw. UNB held up their end up of the bargain by grinding out a 1-0 win against third place UPEI.
CBU however, was able to hang on to a 3-2 win versus Dalhousie to clinch first in the AUS.
“First four games we gave up eight points so we felt we had a big hill to climb after that but the boys dug down,” said UNB head coach Miles Pinsent on finishing second in the AUS. “We worked on the areas we felt we needed to work on to get better and I thought we had more complete performances out of the boys as the season went on.”
This was an important game for UPEI who would have taken second place from UNB with a victory.
“We were concerned about insuring that we got that bye,” said Pinsent. [It’s] huge for the upcoming week but also if we move on to Nationals as well just having one less game in this hectic week.
The winning goal was headed by UPEI goalie by Ben Gorringe after Oliver Jones sent in a beautiful cross from the wing. Jones, who was named player of the game, was playing out wide, something he done rarely this season.
“He’s played there before,” said Pinsent. “Last year we moved him up top, we love him as a target player but he also gives us a different dynamic out wide.”
Pinsent was impressed with how his team finished the season. “It was definitely something worth fighting for and the boys did that over the last nine games of the season.”
UNB will travel to Acadia for the AUS championship and await the quarterfinal results to see who they are playing in the semis.
The Red’s semifinal game will be against the highest remaining seed of either UPEI, Acadia, Dalhousie or Memorial and will kick-off at 7:15 p.m. this Friday.