League News

Moncton First Touch learns from first losses

Posted & categorized League News.

NEIL HODGE Times & TranscripT

   It was all smooth sailing for the Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch until last weekend.

   Moncton suffered its first two losses of the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League season.

   Its undefeated record was spoiled with 5-0 and 2-0 losses in a pair of road games against Prince Edward Island FC.

   “Tactically P.E.I. was the soundest team that we’ve played against,” said Moncton head coach Patrick Gautreau.“They were really cut-throat. We gave them half a chance to put the ball in the back of the net and they did. Whenever we gave them something they took advantage of it.

   “P.E.I. has a very good coaching staff and they were prepared to play. Part of the blame is on our coaching staff when it comes to preparing our team. We’re not just putting the best 11 players out there. We need to put the best 11 who can do the job against certain weapons that they would have.

   “We had a little lack of preparation in the first game which was a 5-0 loss. I’ll take the blame for that one. We lost the second game 2-0, but we performed much better and it was more evenly played. I’m fairly confident that we’ll be able to beat P.E.I. the next time.”

   P.E.I. FC (11-1-0 for 33 points) sits atop the league and Moncton (5-2-1 for 16 points) is in second place. The standings are rounded out by the Fredericton Wanderers (2-5-1 for seven points), Fredericton Reds (2-6-0 for six points) and Fundy United (1-7-0 for three points).

   Only the four New Brunswick teams will participate in the playoffs. Moncton is looking for its first championship in the league’s five-year history.

   Moncton will face Fundy United tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at the Crandall University field. Moncton, which is midway through the 16-game regular season, was 5-0-1 versus New Brunswick opponents before running into its first adversity this season in Charlottetown.

   “Sometimes we got away with mistakes against weaker teams,”said Gautreau. “P.E.I. just didn’t forgive. We made a few mistakes and they capitalized on them. Now we’ve got to tighten the screws a little bit and make sure we don’t make those same mistakes again.

   “We’re halfway through the season We’re going to have a team meeting and sum up the season so far. We’ve got a very mature group. We’ve got a mentally strong group. I think we’re going to have a good honest discussion and then move forward in a positive way.”

Wanderers defeat Picaroons Reds in Elm City Derby

Posted & categorized League News.

BRONTË JAMES Fredericton Daily Gleaner
June 22, 2014

The FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (2-5-1) defeated the Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-6-0) 2-0 in McCain Premier Soccer League action at Scotiabank Park South Saturday night in their first matchup of the season at the Elm City Derby.

“I think after losing all the games we have in the last few games, we really needed to come out and play hard and get a win,” said David Jamael, who scored both goals in the game. “And we did that, so we’re all pretty happy right now. No complaints.”

The first half wouldn’t see any goals, but it wasn’t without a strong push from both teams. Less than five minutes in Picaroon’s Alex Haiart would go up for a header against Colin McIsaac and they would collide, sending McIsaac off and give the Wanderers a free kick.

Roughly 12 minutes later the Wanderers had another chance when Reds goalkeeper Adam Grant came out of the net to block Jamael. The ball would ricochet off Jamael to teammate Marco Riedel, but he would kick it wide past the net.

The Reds’ first real chance came with three minutes left in the first half, but Wanderers goalkeeper Mackenzie Hill was able to get a touch on the ball and keep the game scoreless going into the second half.

“Compared to the rest of the season we were off to a slow start,” said Reds captain Eric Karosan. “We’ve picked things up, we’ve just gotta find a killer edge.”

No goals would be scored until 63 minutes into the game. Jamael would have an easy goal after taking the ball into the top of the six and dribbling it around Grant, who looked to have hurt his ankle and was too slow to get back in front of the ball.

It was now a 1-0 game.

“Roy (Mugume) played a good ball over the top of the D and I just took a touch around the keeper,” said Jamael. “And I saw Al (Fredericks) on the line and I just walked right around him and tapped it in.”

It would be back and forth between the teams – one trying to keep their lead and the other trying to close the gap. Two yellow cards would be given out during the game, one to Wanderer’s Fredericks and one to the Reds’ Haiart, but it didn’t keep either team from continuing the physical game.

With five minutes of extra time for injuries and stoppage of play, the Wanderers looked like they had a 1-0 game in the bag. But the Wanderers were awarded an indirect free kick after Grant had a ball passed back to him by his fullback and put a hand on the ball. The Reds lined the goal-line from post to post. But Max Legg would put his touch on the ball and Jamael would kick it to the left corner the net, giving the Wanderers a 2-0 lead and sealing the victory.

“Marco (Riedel) told me to put it left corner, so that’s where I put it,” said Jamael.

“They didn’t get too many good chances, it’s just those two breakdowns, they capitalized on it,” said Karosan. “Some teams have a good night and others just don’t, it just happened to be in their favour today.”

Both teams were missing key players. Wanderers head coach Joe Ross sat out a one-game suspension for talking back to the ref in their game against the PEI FC. Starting left back Craig Draper also sat out after receiving a red card in that game. Carl Speed, out with a Achilles tendon injury since the first game of the season, and Dylan Hughes, out with a dislocated shoulder, were also missing.

“But guys stepped up and we played a good game,” said Jamael.

The Reds were missing two key players as well, in Victor Karosan and Galen Smith,

The team is transitioning their roster as more and more players who play for the UNB Varsity Reds in the fall leave town for the summer months. The Picaroons Reds filled with players from the former FDSA U18 program, such as rookie Varsity Reds Pat Cormier and Louis Robichaud.

“So we have to go recruiting with some of the younger guys, but they’re stepping up, getting used to the pace,” said Eric Karosan. “It’s a big, big difference playing U18 and playing men’s, so I think they’re getting used to it and it will be good preparation for them come university in the fall.”

Karosan said watching the World Cup the last week was something the men used for motivation when they were down 1-0. “You figure a lot of teams have been scored on and come back within a minute or two, so we still had that confidence, we still had that swagger, but things just weren’t going our way.”

Karosan enjoys the rivalry between Fredericton’s two teams.

“Years ago, we’ve always been known as the big boys around town, so every time they come out and play against us, it’s always very, very hard and we respect them for that,” said Karosan. “It always keeps us on edge and it always makes a good game for the fans.”

The Wanderers are in Saint John Wednesday for their first meeting of the season against Fundy United.

Wanderers, P-Reds ready for Elm City Derby

Posted & categorized League News.

Wanderers, P-Reds ready for Elm City Derby
JEREMY TREVORS THE DAILY GLEANER June 21, 2014

   It’s the match Fredericton soccer fans have been waiting for.

   The Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-5) and the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers (1-5-1) will face each other for the first time this season on Saturday in the Elm City Derby. They haven’t met since the Wanderers won the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League final 2-1 in penalty kicks last August.

   “It’s a huge game because of the season we’ve had so far,” said P-Reds defender George Lawton. “It’s not gone as planned and when it comes to a big rival game it could basically be an opportunity for us to turn our season around.”

   Lawton’s teammate and centre-midfielder Jake Wildman-Sisk agrees.

   “That match every year is a big game,” Wildman-Sisk said. “The guys always get up for it and there’s a friendly rivalry amongst the boys. I think this can be a turning point in our season and maybe give us the spark that we need.”

   Both Fredericton teams have struggled out of the gate this season, but they believe they’re playing better soccer than their records would indicate.

   “A lot of guys work and there are some younger guys coming through, so it’s not all the same faces that we’ve had the last couple years. There’s been a shakeup in the squad that’s been difficult to adjust to,”Lawton said.

   The Wanderers have lost four games by two goals or less and had a scoreless draw against Codiac on May 30. The P-Reds have lost two games by one goal this season, including a 2-1 setback at the hands of Fundy United on Wednesday night in Saint John, the first win in eight tries for the Saint John-based squad.

   Jon Crossland scored the lone goal for Fredericton. Andrew Henry and Aseed Alisaeed found the back of the net for Fundy United.

   “We played well. We had the ball in their end for the majority of the game, they had two good chances and capitalized on them. Our guys were looking good and we’re feeling a lot better now,”Wildman-Sisk said.

   The Wanderers have been working on fine-tuning their play at practice this week and are excited to hit the pitch tonight. Game time is 8 p.m. at Scotiabank Park South.

   “We’ve played really well in parts of games and put a full 90 minutes together,” Wanderers striker Colin McIsaac said. “It’s not like we’re losing and we don’t have any positives to come out of our games. We just need to tighten some things up, keep working hard and we’ll be all right.”

   The Wanderers have been without striker Carl Speed since the first game of the year after Speed went down with an injury.

   Wanderers midfielder Alex Fredericks said the loss of Speed has hurt the team.

   “We’re a lot younger this year,” Fredericks said. “We don’t have Darren Cann and Carl Speed has been injured. There’s a couple missing pieces, but we can’t really make excuses because Picaroons has had some injuries as well and it’s a long season.”

   This is the biggest game of the season said Fredericks, who added he hopes a lot of people will come out.

   Also on Saturday, the Fredericton Picaroons Reds (2-0-2) women’s team will host the Edmundston Honda Crazy Babes FC (1-4-1) at the BMO Centre. Game time is set for 2 p.m. And the Friendship Cup U12 boys’ and girls tournaments continue.

   The FDSA Fredericton Wanderers U21 team is in Saint John on Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. matchup against Fundy United.

P.E.I. F.C. ready for test from Codiac

Posted & categorized League News.

P.E.I. F.C. ready for test from Codiac
Jason MalloyPublished on June 20, 2014 in The Guardian

SoccerStop P.E.I. F.C. and Codiac First Touch play each other tonight after beating up on the rest of the McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League all season.

P.E.I. leads the league with a 9-1-0 record followed by Codiac (5-0-1). They are the only teams with winning records in the five-team circuit.

“It’s definitely going to be a true test,” said P.E.I. F.C.’s Jared Murphy. “I think it’s really down to us and Codiac to see who is going to win the league.”

Game time is 7:30 p.m. at UPEI while the teams meet again Saturday at 2 p.m. at UPEI.

P.E.I. F.C. has six games remaining in the schedule. They finish the season with two games in Moncton against Codiac in a month’s time. Earning points this week, Murphy said, will help P.E.I. F.C. towards its goal of winning this year’s championship.

“These games are huge especially because we’re playing them at home,” he said.

But the squad knows it will not be easy. Codiac, comprised of a number of Universite de Moncton players, is undefeated and won the Maritime champions league tournament at the beginning of the year.

“It will be competitive,” Murphy said. “It’s going to be excellent soccer to watch. It’s going to be excellent games to play in.”

P.E.I. F.C. has a full roster for this weekend’s games and keeper Dave Feener is expected to start tonight.

Murphy leads the league with 11 goals followed by Adam Lowther at seven and Codiac’s Connor McCumber with six.

P.E.I. F.C. has averaged 4.3 goals per game this season.

“We’ve had a lot of players score a lot of goals,” Murphy said. “When that happens . . . every position is effecting the play.”

Schedule

The following are SoccerStop P.E.I. F.C. remaining games.

Tonight

Codiac at P.E.I. F.C., 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Codiac at P.E.I. F.C., 2 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

Fredericton Reds at P.E.I. F.C., 2 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

Fredericton Reds at P.E.I. F.C., 1 p.m.

Friday, July 18

P.E.I. F.C. at Codiac, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 26

P.E.I. F.C. at Codiac, 1 p.m.

First Touch prepared for first-place showdown

Posted & categorized League News.

First Touch prepared for first-place showdown
Moncton tackles Premier Soccer League’s top team on Island
NEIL HODGE Times & TranscripT June 20 2014

   It’s a much-anticipated battle between two powers.

   Moncton Tom Cormier Co-Operators First Touch and Prince Edward Island FC will meet tonight at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action.

   Both games are at the University of Prince Edward Island field in Charlottetown.

   P.E.I. FC (9-1-0 for 27 points) sits atop the five-team league, and Moncton (5-0-1 for 16 points) is in second place. These clubs are in a class by themselves at this point in their 16-game regular season schedule, and tonight will be their first meeting.

   “We’re going right into the belly of the beast with these two games against P.E.I.”said Moncton head coach Patrick Gautreau.

   “I think it will be interesting to see their style of play. We have to battle in the first game (tonight) and then we’ll make adjustments for Saturday’s game.

   “They’re in first place, so we look at these two games as a measuring stick. It will show us where we are right now compared to them. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

   Moncton, the league’s only undefeated club, is looking for its first championship in the league’s five-year history.

   “I’m very happy with our start to the season and not just because of our record,” said Gautreau. “The boys have a very positive attitude. Everybody is showing up for practices and games. Everybody is having fun.”

   Moncton has outscored opponents 18-9 in the opening six games. It’s now riding a four-game winning streak with the last three outings decided by a one-goal margin.

   “I think we’re pretty well balanced between offence and defence,” said Gautreau.“I don’t think we’re blowing anybody out of the water. I think offensively we’re generating what we need to do. I think we’ve improved on our finishing touch around the net with eight goals in the past two games.

   “I think we’re lacking a little bit defensively. We have to tighten up the screws a little in that part of the game.”

Wanderers Friendship Cup tourney kicks off Friday

Posted & categorized League News.

Wanderers Friendship Cup tourney kicks off Friday
BILL HUNT Fredericton Daily Gleaner
June 19, 2014

Matt DeCourcey of the local Fredericton Wanderers, second from left, presents the Friendship Cup to a youth team in Gambia in this May 2013 photo. Four local service clubs and sponsors are partnering with the Wanderers organization to stage the Friendship Cup tournament for boys’ and girls’ youth soccer teams here this weekend with the idea of donating $3,500 to the Wanderers’ sister organization in Gambia.

It should be clear: The Wanderers Friendship Cup, which eight Division 1 boys teams and six Division 1 girls teams are competing for this weekend, does not physically exist, at least on this side of the world.

Rather, it’s a spirit. A feeling.

The winning teams at this weekend’s event will receive T-shirts.

“We’ve had an initiative in the past two years in the Gambia supporting young Gambians, giving them an opportunity to play and providing some health education in the spring tournament overseas,” said DeCourcey.

The boys and girls tournaments the Wanderers are putting together here – the boys tournament to run at Scotiabank South, the girls at Scotiabank North – are geared toward raising funds and profile for the Wanderers initiative in Gambia as well as to provide a local summer tournament for Fredericton-area teams.

In the boys tournament, for instance, the FDSA has four competitive teams, the Wanderers and Athletics in Division A, and the Galleons and Reds in Division B. Fundy has two teams, an U12 and an U11 entry, with Hampton and the Halifax Storm completing the field.

In the girls tournament, the FDSA offers three teams, the Wanderers, Athletics and Galleons, with Fundy U11, Fundy U12 and Hampton also participating.

Four service clubs in the area, including the Epsilon and the Capital, Nasis and Marysville Y’s Men, have all thrown their support behind the project. There will be fund raising breakfasts at both Willie O’Ree Place and the Grant-Harvey Centre Saturday morning. The goal, said DeCourcey is to establish the tournament here and eventually grow it to 10 teams at each of the U12, U14 and U16 boys and girls levels.

“We think there’s capacity within the city to invite 10 boys and 10 girls teams at each level if we do it well. Just as important, it’s a fund-raising vehicle, with Investor’s Group sponsoring an on-site barbecue at Scotiabank South, proceeds from the community breakfasts, and donations at the gate from Saturday night’s McCain Premier Soccer League match between the rival Fredericton Inn Wanderers and Picaroons Reds, will be donated to the Gambia initiative.

“I plan to send $3,500 over to the Gambia next year and we’d like some seed funding to help start something locally as well,” he said.

DeCourcey spent five months in the Gambia in 2010-11 while working with the Nova Scotia-Gambia Association. He struck up a friendship with his colleague in Gambia, NSGA trainer Jerreh Manneh and the Brikama club, which Manneh coached.

The Wanderers Friendship Cup tournament has existed in Gambia for two years, being played out over three spring weekends in 2013 and two this spring.

It grew from eight boys teams in year one to 10 boys and eight girls teams in year two in Gambia.

“We want to continue to grow that opportunity over there, to have boys and girls teams at different age levels playing,” said DeCourcey. “We want to use that as a platform to provide health education workshops … you get the kids to the field and that provides the venue where you can talk to them about prevention of malaria and sexual reproductive health and these sorts of things,” he said. “It’s another project in what I hope will some day be a global program for us.”

It starts with tournament play Friday: game times are 5:30 and 7 p.m. at both Scotiabank North and South, with two games going at a time. Play continues all day Saturday, with time out to watch the Elm City Derby match between the senior rivals, with tournament play wrapping up Sunday. The boys final is at noon at Scotiabank South, while the girls round-robin tournament wraps up with the last game at 10:30 a.m.

Two teams setting pace in soccer league

Posted & categorized League News.

Neil Hodge Times & TranscripT June 18

The McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League looks like it may be a two-tier circuit this season.

Prince Edward Island FC (9-1-0 for 27 points) and the Moncton Tom Cormier Co-operators First Touch (5-0-1 for 16 points) are the only members of the five-team league that have a record over .500. Clubs play a 16-game regular season.

The standings are rounded out by the Fredericton Reds (2-4-0 for six points), defending champion Fredericton Wanderers (1-5-1 for four points) and Fundy United (0-7-0). Only the four New Brunswick teams will participate in the playoffs.

“I’m a little surprised that the Fredericton Reds don’t have a better record,” said Moncton head coach Patrick Gautreau. “The way the standings are right now could be a result of some of the matchups early in the season.

“The two Fredericton teams haven’t faced each other yet, and we haven’t played against P.E.I. yet. I’m hoping we’re going to stay in that top class of teams. The standings may not balance out, but I think the level of play will balance out across the league as the season progresses.”

Action continues when the Fredericton Reds meet Fundy United tonight in Saint John. Moncton, the league’s only undefeated club, will play its next two games against P.E.I. on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at the University of Prince Edward Island’s field.

Moncton is looking for its first championship in the league’s five-year history.

“Maybe other people didn’t expect us to have a start to the season like this, but I wouldn’t say that I’m surprised,” said Gautreau.“Based on the training camp that we had, it doesn’t catch me off guard that our team is performing like this. We have good depth on our team, and it’s showing.”

P.E.I.’s Jared Murphy leads the league with 11 goals, and teammate Adam Lowther is next with seven. Moncton’s Connor McCumber is third in the scoring race with six goals.

P.E.I.’s Brett MacDonald leads all goalkeepers with five wins and four shutouts. P.E.I.’s Dave Feener and Moncton’s Samuel Charron both have four wins.

P-Reds blanked again

Posted & categorized League News.

ROBERT JOHNSON THE DAILY GLEANER
The Fredericton Picaroons Reds lost their fourth game of the season, when the P.E.I FC defeated them 3-0 Saturday evening in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action. It was the second straight weekend that the Picaroons were shutout at home to the P.E.I FC, losing last Sunday 5-0.

Goal scorers for P.E.I were Kieran Moore, Harmi Singh and Lucas Holmes. The victory gave P.E.I their league leading eighth win,

D av e F e e n e r p i c ke d u p t h e s h u t o u t i n t h e w i n . The teams were tied at the half, but P.E.I. exploded for three unanswered goals to take a commanding victory.

“It was even in the first half, but it was those turnovers in the second that they capitalized on,” explained Picaroons Reds coach Jon Crossland. “We didn’t score on our chances and they did. It’s been the story of our season so far,”

P.E.I. keeper Feener went down early with what looked like an injury, perhaps due to the wet conditions. But he walked it off and was able to finish the game.

After the scoreless opening half, Fredericton started the second half with a bit of momentum, but that didn’t last long as Ryan Casey made a beautiful cross right on to the foot of Singh who just had to tap it in for the first goal of the match.

Then, similar to the game here a week ago, the floodgates opened for the Island squad.

They scored two more goals in the half to make it 3-0. The game got a bit chippy at the end, but that was to be expected since P.E.I outscored the Picaroons 8-0 in the last two games. “It’s been tough traveling on weekends, and making sure that all the guys can get off work for the games,” said P.E.I. coach Bruce Norton. “A lot of them work weekends, so that’s been a problem. It’s not always easy to find constancy, but I thought we’ve done a pretty good job of it as of late.”

The numbers would bear them out. P.E.I. leads the league with a 9-1 record for 27 points, completing a sweep of their Fredericton road trip with a 4-1 win over the FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers Sunday (see separate story).

The Picaroons Reds are third, with a 2-4-0 record for six points, two up on the 1-5-1 Wanderers. The P-Reds travel to Saint John Wednesday to take on winless Fundy United at UNBSJ field. “We have ten games left, there’s lots of time to turn this around and grab some points. Everyone’s frustrated, but nobody is giving up,” said Cross-land.

Wanderers can’t hang on against P.E.I. powerhouse

Posted & categorized League News.

Soccer | Island squad improves to 9-1 with sweep of locals
ROBERT JOHNSON THE DAILY GLEANER

The FDSA Fredericton Inn Wanderers had a 1-0 lead at half, but ended up losing 4-1 to the P.E.I. FC Sunday afternoon in McCain New Brunswick Premier Soccer League action at Scotiabank Park South. The win gave P.E.I. the weekend sweep against the two Fredericton teams in the league, following a 3-0 shutout of the Fredericton Picaroons Reds in play Saturday night. (See separate story) It was the second loss of the weekend for the Wanderers, who fell 5-3 to Codi-ac First Touch of Moncton Friday night. P.E.I. improved to a league leading 9-1 on the year for 27 points, 11 better than 5-0-1 Codiac First Touch.

Adam Lowther had a pair of goals for P.E.I. Matt Thomson and Jared Murphy had the others. Aaron Gagnon opened the scoring for the Wanderers with the only goal of the opening half.

It was one of the more physical games of the season, but while P.E.I. were able to keep their cool throughout the match, Fredericton was unable to, and it resulted in multiple cards towards their team.

The most costly came in the second half when striker Craig Draper was handed a red card, limiting the team to only 10 players for the remainder of the match.

“When things are not going well for them, they know how to keep their composure, and keep their head in the game, while we were unable to do that today,” explained Wanderers coach Matt DeCourcey The Wanderers got off to a great start, opening the scoring on the Gagnon goal after a sweet feed from Marco Riedel.

But the final 45 minutes were a different story for Fredericton. They looked tired, and had trouble keeping their composure.

The wind played a huge factor in this game, with all five goals scored by the team with the wind.

P.E.I came storming out of the gates in the second half with a quick goal by Lowther. They added another a couple of minutes later, but it was ruled offside.

Lowther scored again off his own rebound to make it 2-1 P.E.I.

P.E.I. added two more including a penalty shot from Thomson at the end of the game to make it a 4-1 final.

Dylan Hughes left the game late with an injury and didn’t return for the Wanderers, who fall to 1-5-1 on the season with the loss. They face the 2-4-0 Picaroons Reds next Saturday at 8 p.m at Scotiabank Park South. It will be the first meeting between the teams since the Wanderers’ 2-1 win over the P-Reds on penalty kicks in the league’s championship game last August.