(FREDERICTON, NB) They’re not happy about it, but the Varsity Reds women’s soccer team is resigned to the fact they don’t control their own fate.
“It's unfortunate that making it to playoffs isn't fully under our control,” said fifth year midfielder Nicola Small(Vancouver, BC). “All we can do is our best to get those three points this weekend and leave everything on the field.”
The Varsity Reds travel to Sackville to take on the Mount Allison Mounties on Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00pm.
It’s the final regular season game for the Varsity Reds, who go into the weekend tied for sixth place in the Atlantic University Sport standings.
Cape Breton has already secured first place overall and a first round bye.
That leaves seven teams, including the Varsity Reds, fighting for the remaining five playoff spots.
“When we didn't get some results over the course of the season that we would’ve liked, I knew that we may not entirely control our own fate,” said Varsity Reds head coach Jon Crossland. “That being said, we worked to be in position to get in the playoffs and we have to take care of our end on Saturday.”
Through 11 games, UNB is 3-4-4.
It’s not what Crossland or Small had envisioned.
“The season has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Some highs, some lows,” said Crossland. “The girls have shown up each week. Even when we were 0-4-1 they were there the next session wanting to get better.”
Small and five of her teammates will finish Saturday’s game not knowing if it’s the final game of their Varsity Reds careers.
Regardless of what happens, Small says she’s been fortunate.
“I’ll be thinking about all the memories I've had on this team and how lucky I am to be a part of it with so many amazing girls by my side,” she said. “I’ll never forget 2014, making it to the finals in AUS playoffs. It was one of the best feelings I have ever experienced.”
When asked to pick a highlight in an up and down season, Coach Crossland was optimistic.
“The highlight is hopefully still to come,” he said. “The closeness of the group and their willingness to work and support each other. They’ve been connected from our pre-season trip to Montreal, and that togetherness and trust has carried us through this season thus far and will do so tomorrow and into playoffs next week.”