Well rested

P.E.I. F.C. hosts Fred­er­ic­ton for pair this week­end, can clinch first place with sweep

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - dstew­art@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/DveSte­wart

P.E.I. F.C. can clinch New Brunswick soc­cer league ti­tle with two week­end wins.

The bumps and bruises have healed as P.E.I. Soc­cer Stop F.C. heads into the big­gest week­end of its sched­ule.

P.E.I. will host the Fred­er­ic­ton Pi­ca­roon Reds on Satur­day and Sun­day at UPEI.

If P.E.I. sweeps the two-game set, it will clinch first place in the New Brunswick Premier Soc­cer League. go­ing into Satur­day’s game, P.E.I. has a four-point lead on Fred­er­ic­ton.

“We go into this week­end ex­pect­ing noth­ing less than six points and that’s the way it should be,’’ said P.E.I. F.C. soc­cer player Jared Mur­phy.

The games go at 7 p.m. on Satur­day and noon on Sun­day.

P.E.I. hasn’t played since June 28 when it beat Fundy United 4-2 but Mur­phy isn’t wor­ried about rust.

“A two-week break half­way through the sea­son some­times does some guys and the whole team some good. You start to get a lit­tle banged up and you start to get a lit­tle sore. To get a twoweek break some­times fresh­ens the legs and you come into that week­end that much bet­ter.’’

Lay­off or not, the first few min­utes will be key.

“You’ve got to come out early, bring you’re A game, be ag­gres­sive and not con­cede any goals. Those are re­ally the main goals for both teams in the first five min­utes.’’

Many of the play­ers on both sides have had this week­end cir­cled on their cal­en­dar now all sea­son.

These are two teams very fa­mil­iar with each other since many of the play­ers on both sides of the pitch would have played At­lantic Univer­sity Sport soc­cer this past sea­son with ei­ther UPEI or UNB.

“These are al­ways the games that we look for­ward to in the sum­mer. They’re a great ri­val to have in this league. These are the games you have to men­tally pre­pare for. There are a lot of years be­tween these play­ers that have played against each other. You don’t want to lose against guys you have sort of built up a re­la­tion­ship with over the years.’’

Alex O’Brien is one mem­ber of the P.E.I. F.C. that will be fac­ing fu­ture team­mates this week­end. O’Brien will suit up for UNB next sea­son.

Mur­phy ex­pects most of the play­ers with P.E.I. F.C. will be avail­able this week­end. Work and other com­mit­ments can, at times, keep play­ers from games, es­pe­cially on the road.

“We’ll have a cou­ple of guys work in, which is al­ways the norm. Home games are usu­ally good to get num­bers out.’’

JASON MAL­LOY/THE GUARDIAN

Adam Lowther takes a shot on keeper Liam Bi­tar Thurs­day dur­ing Soc­cerS­top P.E.I. F.C. prac­tice in Char­lot­te­town.

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