Volume 92, Issue 35

Thursday, November 5, 1998

a little bit louder now


Mustangs look for OUA three-peat

©Tom Baumgartner/Gazette

I'M OPEN, I'M OPEN! This was one of the rare occasions that someone was open for Western, but despite Windsor's play, the Mustangs were able to advance to the championships with a 1-0 win.

By John Dinner

Gazette Staff

When speaking of dynasties at Western it usually is in reference to the football team. But this year the men's soccer team has a chance to establish themselves as the premier team in Ontario as they seek their third straight Ontario University Athletics soccer championship.

Yesterday afternoon under gray skies, the Mustangs secured their birth in the Ontario championships and at the same time an appearance in the CIAU nationals in Montreal, Nov. 13 to 15.

The Mustangs did this by defeating the Windsor Lancers in the Ontario West final 1-0 on a goal midway through the second half by midfielder Xavier Paturel.

"It certainly felt big at the time," said Paturel, referring to his goal. "They came out in the second half really strong and after we scored it was good to hold on. They were putting some pretty good pressure."

Western was able to control the ball for most of the first half but were not able to capitalize on their opportunities, giving Windsor a chance to stay in the game.

"I thought both teams played really well," said Windsor head coach Fabio Marras. "I thought the first half belonged to them and that we controlled the second, but they were able to capitalize on our one breakdown."

Windsor, having only three returning players from last year, played well enough to give the experienced Mustang squad problems throughout the game.

"When you're in the playoffs there are a lot of emotions throughout the game," said Mustang coach Rock Basacco. "You can't take anyone lightly and when one mistake can cost you the game, you've got to be a lot more careful."

"I was happy with the way our guys played today," Marras said. "Our goal was to just make the playoffs this year, but as the year progressed we got better and better and I thought we were good enough to challenge the elite teams in Ontario – something I think we did today."

With this victory, Western will now host the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, who defeated the York Yeoman 1-0 yesterday in the East final, on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the OUA championships before moving onto McGill for the nationals.

"The nationals are always prime, it's been our goal all year," Paturel said. "But we really want to three-peat. Getting number three is really important to us."

A win or a loss on Sunday will still take Western to McGill, so nobody could blame the team for looking past U of T and to the nationals where they are looking to improve on their last two appearances. Basacco, however, said the team needs to maintain its focus on Sunday's game.

"It took us many, many years to win our first Ontario championship and we really want to get that third," Basacco commented. "Besides it's really important to go into the nationals on a high note."

To Contact The Sports Department: gazette.sports@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998