· · · · · · · ·
Volume 91, Issue 19
Tuesday, September 30, 1997
Lady kickers go badger hunting
DAMN I THINK I STEPPED IN DOGGY DOO. The women's soccer team gave the boot to the Brock Badgers 1-0 on Sunday, improving Western's undefeated record to 5-0.
By Jason Valentin
The Western women's soccer team edged the Brock Badgers 1-0 at J.W. Little Stadium on Sunday but showed they are not at the level they want to be.
Unbeaten in their first five OUA contests, the Mustangs were surprisingly outplayed by the underdog Badgers. Brock dominated possession early on but failed to collect any quality chances on the Mustang goal.
In the 37th minute Mustang top scorer Sara Nathanson placed a perfect shot into the right corner of the Badger net for what turned out to be the eventual game winner. Tiring late in the game, the Mustangs were still able to hold off the opposition for the victory.
Despite having scored the game-winning goal, Nathanson was held in check by a solid Brock defense. After the game she commented on her frustration with the tight marking of Badger defenders finding herself with few options in attack. "It was a hard game with scoring chances scattered forcing us to adjust our original game plan," she said.
Brock head coach Ron Goulet felt that shutting Nathanson down was key to keeping the game close and had made her the focus of pre-game meetings.
The success or failure of the strategy had a key influence on the outcome of the match in Goulet's post-game analysis, "We shut down Sara and she ended up having an uncharacteristically quiet game," Goulet said. "Her goal was scored because of slack marking."
For Western coach Sheri Kitching-Fowler, the result demonstrates that the Mustangs are not yet at their pinnacle performance. Kitching-Fowler said Brock strategy played a key role. "I didn't feel that we could play typical Western soccer for 90 minutes because of the way Brock played. We had to be more defensive than usual but our transition game was not good. Brock had solid marking."
Kitching-Fowler also commented that at the half-way point of the season, the Western women are not playing at the level she would like. "We are not at our top level," she said. "We're about 80 per cent there. Our fitness, skill, cohesion and determination are in tact."
The team weakness, she said, lies in an area often ignored in sports the mental side of the game. "We are still working on the mental component. It is up to the individual to get ready for various game situations. We are now working on sports psychology with a Masters psychology student."
Brock coach Ron Goulet was nevertheless respectful of the Mustang performance in the game and so far in the season. "Western deserves their first place standing and today's win. They are the best in women's varsity soccer."
With regard to Brock's situation, Goulet sees a rise in the Badger soccer program, "I am pleased. We have been a traditional bottom-dweller and we're hoping to change that. This game shows that we are."
The Western women's soccer team will spend Homecoming weekend in Waterloo and Hamilton.
To Contact The Sports Department: email@example.com
Copyright © The Gazette 1997