Rookie Brockbank leads Aigles Bleues past Panthers 2-1

Rookie Brockbank leads Aigles Bleues past Panthers 2-1

By Thomas Becker 

Zoe Brockbank's goal in the 85th minute capped off a memorable Sunday for the rookie, as her Aigles Bleues edged the UPEI Panthers 2-1.

The freshman forward who relies on her speed to generate scoring chances put away both goals — the first two of her AUS career.

"I've been fast my whole life and in a game, I just go all out and do my best." 

In a battle of teams itching for a playoff appearance, the Panthers (0-6) — who haven't made the playoffs since 2014 — came out as the aggressors, but a great play by Moncton (2-1-1) — who haven't seen postseason action since 2015 — put the home team in a hole early. 

In the 8th minute, Catherine Dupuis skipped a pass by the outstretched leg of Sam Silliphant to Brockbank, who slid a shot past goalkeeper Julie Ann Reid for the 1-0 advantage.

The no-quit Panthers responded in a big way in the 38th minute when Jennifer Balderston sent a deep cross from the left wing to Caitlyn McCloskey who headed it in for the equalizer.

UPEI came out strong in the second half and challenged the keeper early and often, but Chelsea Burnham was up for the task as she recorded six saves on the afternoon. 

Moncton, meanwhile, applied pressure late in the game and broke through in the 85th minute. Mia Brideau sent a harmless pass toward the middle of the box where Brockbank out-hustled her defender and deposited her second goal of the match.

After the game, Brockbank said she was surprised that the scoring chance even presented itself, but was happy to take it. 

"I just saw the ball and noticed she wasn't going, so I went for it and put it away." 

With just six games remaining, the Panthers don't have much time to turn their season around. They'll get a chance to capture their first win of the season on Sept. 27 when they visit the Mount Allison Mounties for a 5 p.m. showdown.

Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan