Memorial Sea-Hawks women’s soccer coach Walt Mavin makes a point to his players during a practice at the Pleasantville indoor soccer facility Thursday. The Sea-Hawks are on the road for games against UPEI and Dal this weekend. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram
Memorial Sea-Hawks men’s soccer team is facing what are basically must-win situations in their remaining four Atlantic University Sport (AUS) matches, but where there’s hope there’s life …even if it’s slim at this point.
“We desperate. We have to win,’ said MUN coach Scott Betts.
“We’ve played well, but we’ve just go to finish. We’re definitely optimistic we can do well for the remaining two weekends,” Betts added,
That means a Sea-Hawks team that has scored only 10 goals in nine games will have to find the back of the net more often this weekend.
“We have to do better on the attack. We’re getting scoring chances but we don’t score when we get them. It takes us about seven or eight chances to get one (goal),” Betts said.
The team also needs to tighten up a defence which has given up 17 goals so far this season.
Only last-place Acadia University has given up more (27).
“We need to bring intensity,” noted Betts at an indoor workout Thursday night.
“Let’s go out and try to win it. But we’ve all got to be on our A game.”
MUN hasn’t had a whole lot of luck this season, but Betts feels luck often comes when there’s hard work at play.
“If we work hard and bring our best game, we’ll make our own luck and we’ll get some bounces,” he said.
MUN will be without the services of Jeff Slaney, who is out with a sport hernia he picked up at the Challenge Cup nationals.
Memorial finishes up the regular season schedule at home next weekend against University of Moncton (3-4-2).
It doesn’t get any tougher than this weekend when the Lady Hawks are in the Maritimes to take on the first-place UPEI Panthers (8-1) Saturday and second-place Dalhousie Tigers (7-2) Sunday.
Seventh-place MUN (2-4-3) finishes up at home next weekend with a pair of matches against the University of Moncton (0-8-1) and while there is the potential for a two-game, six-points sweep in that series, the Lady Hawks will probably need at least a draw this weekend to have a realistic chance of making it to the post-season.
“We have to pick up at least seven or eight points out of 12 to have any (playoff) chance,” says MUN coach Walt Mavin.
“(Fifth-place) St. Francis is ahead of us by four right now, but they’ve got (fourth-place) Cape Breton twice and (third-place) Saint Mary’s, along with (sixth-place) UNB left, on their schedule.”
UNB has 11 points, two more than the Sea-Hawks, but the Varsity Reds have a playoff bye as host team.
Mavin knows it’s not entirely in MUN’s hands at this point, but “When I look at the schedule, we can do it with three wins out of four.
“We’re in a situation where we’ve got to do our job while keeping one eye on the (out of town) scoreboard.”