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Volume 91, Issue 15

Tuesday, September 23, 1997

dirty pool


Mustangs soc-it to gryphons

©Geoff Robins/Gazette
I'M WALKING ON SUNSHINE, OH YEAH. The women's soccer team are on a natural high after a weekend sweep of Guelph [2-0] and Windsor [6-3].

By John Macaulay

Gazette Writer

Maintaining focus for an hour and a half may seem like an impossible task to some, but that was the goal of the Western women's soccer team as it defeated the Guelph Gryphons at home on Saturday afternoon.

In their first three matches of the year, the women started slowly in the first half but still managed to grab two wins and a tie. Against the Gryphons, who sat on top of the league standings with 10 points, a game-long effort was key if the women wanted any chance of victory.

Even with the tougher opponent, head coach Sheri Kitching-Fowler made it clear the team was approaching the game like any other.

"Guelph has only six returning players," Kitching-Fowler said. "They have played teams that we haven't played yet and are a bit of an unknown, but preparation is still the same."

Prior to the game she told her team to prepare by taking a few deep breaths to compose themselves and stressed the importance of going strong the full 90 minutes.

The team appeared to take the coaches advice to heart with a dominating first half. Superior ball-handling skills and quickness down the flanks stymied the Gryphons in their attempts at establishing an attack up the middle. The pressure led to repeated scoring chances, until striker Sara Nathanson drove a low kick into the net to pull the Mustangs ahead 1-0.

With time running down in the first half, the team effort suddenly faded, taking on the appearance of a neutral-zone ping-pong match. In the second half, neither side was able to impose enough offensive pressure to score until the final minute when Western managed to pop one more goal in to secure the 2-0 victory.

Nathanson was not completely disappointed with the team's mid-game lapse. "It's hard to go a full 90 minutes," she said. "That was the team's goal, to play all-out the whole game. We've consistently improved each game."

She was also quick to point out that even when nothing is going well, the team pushes harder, "creating chances through hard work."

Guelph's head coach Eric Stewart took the loss in stride. "In the first half, Western played strong for the first 40 out of 45 minutes," he said. "They did what they wanted to do with us. Western deserved it."

With another notch in the win column Western earns three points and pulls even with Guelph atop the OUA standings with a game in hand.

On Sunday, Western continued their undefeated streak by winning over Windsor 6-3. Sara Nathanson scored three goals while Carmyn Aleshka, Amy Harding and Laura Walters each scored once. The Mustangs next game is Sept. 28 at home against Brock.

To Contact The Sports Department: gazsport@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1997