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Volume 91, Issue 15
Tuesday, September 23, 1997
Mustangs show grit in split
HOLY COW THERE'S A HEAD GROWING OUT OF YOUR CHEST! The men's soccer team will go to any lengths, however odd, to get a head up on their competition.
By Darryl Rose
The visiting Guelph Gryphons kept things close for about five minutes Saturday afternoon, before the second-ranked Mustangs decided to play, tallying their fourth straight win at 6-0.
Ree San gave the Mustangs all the scoring they would need early on, doing so in spectacular fashion, leaping around a would-be defender to head a rebound into the bottom corner of the Guelph net. Western followed the goal with sustained pressure that paid dividends when John Hasson used his head to convert a corner kick into a goal, making the score 2-0. The game was decided before half-time as a successful penalty kick by Luca Mancuso and a rebound score by Matt Gallo gave the home side a four-goal advantage. Second-half goals by San and Mancuso rounded out the pasting.
"We knew we were in control after the first half," San said. "But we didn't want to let up. The shutout is important to everyone, that's something we really aimed for."
Though pleased with the big win, the Mustangs are wary of being overconfident according to head coach Rock Basacco.
"We definitely take a lot of positives from this," he said. "But there are always things we can work on. We have to improve our fitness in order to execute our press defense the whole game. We can refine our skills every game."
Sentiments from the Guelph sideline were unanimous experience is needed. Having lost nine starters from last year's team, the Gryphons are currently in a learning phase.
Basacco called Saturday's victory a confidence builder. Unfortunately, he had to define Sunday's contest, with the first-place Windsor Lancers, as a character-builder.
Western dropped a point back of their southern rivals coming up short, losing a 2-1 decision, the team's first set-back in the second game of their weekend doubleheader.
"We came out a bit sluggish," he said, adding that Windsor did not play a Saturday game. "They were a bit fresher, but we showed some determination and kept it close. We didn't give up, even when we were down by two."
Windsor scored the game's first goal late in the opening half and added their second with 10 minutes remaining. Mancuso scored for Western with five minutes left, but the comeback bid fell a goal short.
"Naturally the guys are disappointed and they should be," Basacco said. "We'll just have a big week of training and come out fired-up next time."
If the team that was on display Saturday, is the one that comes out fired-up next weekend, pity the poor Brock Badgers, who will be in town for a Sunday afternoon contest at 3 p.m.
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Copyright © The Gazette 1997