On a cold windy night in Sackville. the Mount Allison men’s soccer team played the UPEI Panthers, losing by a score of 2-0. This was the first meeting of the season between the two teams. Following a tough loss to Acadia last weekend, the Mounties were looking to bounce back with a solid effort against the Panthers. For the most part they did just that; it was a good effort by the men with a back-and-forth affair which could have gone either way. The Mounties held possession for long periods but couldn’t capitalise on their scoring chances. A few defensive mistakes resulted in the two UPEI goals.
As of the opening kick, UPEI pressured early, creating an early-scoring opportunity which was well read by keeper Mackenzie Hill. The Panthers kept the pressure up early, striking a ball just wide minutes into the game. Keeper Hill had to be sharp, as nine minutes in he made a save by diving to his left and grabbing a ball marked for the top corner.
After this, the Mounties seemed to find their legs, creating a scoring chance for Regan Lynch, who just struck the ball just wide of the top-right corner. The Mounties continued this pressure for several minutes but could not open the scoring.
With seven minutes left in the half, UPEI opened the scoring on a long cross from a UPEI back which led to a miscommunication in the Mounties box. This allowed a Panthers striker a free run, hitting it low past Hill, who had very little chance. Another breakdown in the box near the end of the half left a Panthers forward unmarked in near the Mounties, allowing him to head in oncoming corner to make the score 2-0 going into halftime.
The second half began with the Mounties showing great energy and applying pressure inside the Panthers side of the field. They were able to win several free kicks and corners as a result of this pressure. The Mounties’ best scoring chance coming from a corner sent close to goal, resulting in a scramble in front of the UPEI net, with the Mounties narrowly missing cutting the lead to within a one-point gap.
Despite continuing pressure in the second half, the Mounties could not find the back of the net. They gave the Panthers everything they could handle in the second half but came up just short, falling 2-0. The men will look to enact some revenge next Friday while they travel to UPEI. They then wrap up their regular season with a home game against Memorial on Sunday.