P.E.I. F.C. hosts Fredericton for pair this weekend, can clinch first place with sweep
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.’’
Adam Lowther takes a shot on keeper Liam Bitar Thursday during SoccerStop P.E.I. F.C. practice in Charlottetown.