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Volume 91, Issue 11
Tuesday, September 16, 1997
Kicking balls and taking names
YOU PUT YOUR RIGHT LEG IN AND YOU SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT. Western's women's soccer team spent the day teaching their opponents the finer points of the game and the Hokey-pokey.
By Dom Mape
With a disappointing tie against Brock last Sunday, the Western women's soccer team needed to show improved play this weekend against its top two challengers in the OUA West. With a 3-1 win over McMaster on Saturday and a 2-0 win over Laurier, the Mustangs are well on their way to retaining their West division title.
Coach Sheri Kitching-Fowler said the team is very excited about getting six points from this weekend's games and wins over the Marauders and the Golden Hawks provide a huge boost to the team's confidence. This weekend's sweep makes up for the points lost in last week's tie.
The team is pulling together as a group more and more every game, Kitching-Fowler noted. On Saturday, the defence shone, while on Sunday, the midfield stepped up its game. The coach said the team is seeing the results of increased trust an essential part of being successful.
Saturday's 3-1 win was a result of capitalizing on early opportunities as the Mustangs scored in the first two minutes of each half. "We had to be focused from the start and concentrate on going in hard," Fowler said. "We knew we had to play a great game to win."
With Western leading 2-1 in the 64th minute, Sara Nathanson popped home a rebound from three yards out to secure the win for the Mustangs.
Sunday's win was a result of persistence. While Western maintained possession throughout the game, they were unable to break the deadlock until the 65th minute when Amme Harding chipped a ball over a defender and handcuffed the goalkeeper with a shot from eight yards. A second goal from Harding in the 75th minute finished the scoring when a perfectly- placed corner kick from Laura Walker was volleyed in from eight yards out.
A dejected Helen Stoubos, Laurier's head coach, admitted her team did not play very well. "We are very disappointed with the loss," Stoubos said. "It is a major setback to open the season with losses to McMaster and Western." The Golden Hawks sit in the basement of the OUA West.
The Mustangs are finishing strong and have come a long way in staying focussed for a full 90 minutes. With their tight marking and a defensive strategy that tries to keep the ball out of dangerous positions, as well as their ability to maintain possession of the ball, the Mustangs are now sitting on top of the mountain waiting to defend against the next predator that attempts to make the climb.
The women's soccer team sees its next action on Saturday against the Guelph Gryphons at 1 p.m. on Huron Flats before taking to the road Sunday for a game in Windsor at 1 p.m.
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Copyright © The Gazette 1997