Panthers topple Mounties 6-0 for perfect preseason

By Fred Foster
 
The UPEI Panthers finished off their preseason on a high note Sunday afternoon at the UPEI turf with a 6-0 crushing of the Mt Allison Mounties. This has to be one of the most successful preseason schedules on record as the Panthers completed their four game run without conceding a goal while scoring 15 against Dalhousie, Saint Mary's, Holland College and Mt. Allison combined.  
 
The game started off fairly even until midway through the second half when the Panthers started to put together their passing game that frustrated the Mounties who were unable to get more than one or two touches on the ball before being smothered by UPEI players. The Panthers split the goals evenly in each half with Nail Harte (34th minute), Cohen Reddick-Stevens (36th minute) and Moe Jaber (44th minute) leaving the score at 3-0 going into the second half. Rookie Duncan Murray (57th minute) notched his first, followed by Reddick-Stevens' second of the game (63rd minute) that had to be the prettiest goal of the game from a blistering free kick 25 yards out. Noah Bitar closed out the scoring in the 87th minute. Keeper Nathan Ford pick up his second clean sheet of the preseason.
 
"The whole team has been playing really well since we started training," said centre back Reddick-Stevens. "To play four games like that and have no goals against is a credit to all the work our players and coaches have put in. We played the system that coach Page has given us and its obviously been working for us. It's a much better start than we had last year, so hopefully this will contribute as to how we play the season."
 
The stats were lopsided as well with the Panthers leading in shots toward goal 23 and shots on goal 14 as compared to the Mounties with 7 shots toward goal and 3 on target. The Panther offence created 14 chances while Mt Allison failed to create a chance. UPEI out fouled the Mounties 10-9 and had the decided edge in corner kicks 8-1.
 
With points on the line from here on in the Panthers hope to continue where they left off with a double header this coming weekend in St John's against the Memorial Seahawks.