Volume 92, Issue 26

Wednesday, October, 21 1998

bound and gagged


Mustangs run circles around Gryphon attack

Photo by Tom Baumgartner

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

The Western women's soccer team played cat and mouse for 90 minutes with the Guelph Gryphons on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Gryphons, the Mustangs looked more like lions, shutting out the weak Guelph squad 2-0.

The road win pushes the Western women's record to 8-1-1 on the season, giving them a stranglehold on the Ontario West Division. According to a number of Mustangs, ball control and constant pressure was the key in keeping the Gryphons off the scoreboard.

"We came out hard and controlled the game right from the start," said Mustang striker Amme Harding. "We controlled them on the outside and in the middle and were able to keep the ball in their end 90 per cent of the time."

The game's only two goals were courtesy of Harding and Laura Walker.

Another key to the decisive win was Western's goaltending. Although not peppered by an explosive Guelph attack, the goalies come up big when they were tested. Anna Grgic played between the pipes in the the first half before having to leave the game after re-aggravating her quadricep muscle, an injury she suffered during last week's practice.

"I thought I was going to be fine and it just felt a little tight in warm-up," Grgic said. "After the first kick I was in pain, but played the rest of the first half."

Paula Faulkner was forced into action in the second half and performed solidly in the back-up role. Grgic felt Faulkner's performance was an indication of the depth the Mustangs have this year.

"Paula was able to step in and do a great job," she said. "Our team has a lot of depth in all areas."

Western beat Guelph 1-0 earlier in the season, but the two clubs have gone in completely different directions since the season's early stages. While Western hasn't lost a game since the season opener, Guelph is in a struggle for a playoff spot.

Gryphon assistant coach Mark Berardini admitted this weekend's game was a little rough at points, but the team is looking at the upside. "We take the positive out of it. It's two good games we've played against Western," he said.

He added the Gryphons will now aim for third place in the division.

"Since we beat Guelph and knocked them out of first, they have had a tough time winning games," Harding said. "In comparison we have played some great soccer since taking over first."

The Mustangs will close out their regular season this weekend with two big home games against Waterloo and Wilfred Laurier. To clinch first place in Ontario University Athletics West the team needs to win one of the two games. According to Harding, the key comes down to being focused at the task at hand and playing at the same level they have so far this season.

"The most important thing for us to do, is focus on each game as we have done all year," Harding said. "Our coaches have stressed the importance of thinking only about the next game, which is one of the reasons we have been so successful this year."

Laurier will be at Western at 3 p.m. on Saturday, just ahead of the Warriors visit on Sunday also scheduled for 3 p.m..

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

Copyright The Gazette 1998