Volume 93, Issue 28
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
Western clinches first overall
THERE AIN'T NO STOPPING US. After the weekend's action the Mustang men's soccer team finished first overall in the Ontario University Athletics.
By Sean Maraj
First. There is only one place for the Western men's soccer team in the Ontario University Athletics West division.
The Mustangs clinched top spot for the second year in a row by beating the University of Guelph Gryphons in a gritty 2-0 victory Sunday. Hampered by poor field conditions in Guelph, the Mustangs came out running, scoring two goals in the first half. They managed to hold off the Gryphons in the second, claiming the win and the division title.
Western head coach Rock Basacco said he was happy with the win, but thought there was room for improvements, especially with the playoffs looming in the not so distant future.
"We still have some work to do," Basacco said. "But based on the win we clinched first place that guarantees us home advantage."
The game itself was a hard fought match. Battling both the field and a determined Gryphon team, the road to victory for the Mustangs was not a smooth one.
"We played a little sloppy and the field conditions weren't great, but we still managed to win," said Western's captain and defenceman Jon Hasson.
Basacco also noted the team's offence, a big question mark at the beginning of the season, has flourished. "Offensively, we were creating some good chances, but we still have to fine tune our defence," Basacco said. "We have to tighten up on our marks and work on our defensive tactics."
Guelph head coach Colin Kelly said he was pleased with his team's gritty performance, despite losing to the national champions. "I thought we did reasonably well, we were competitive. They are obviously the better team."
The Gryphons lost their composure many times during the game, but Kelly said he was happy his team did not stop playing hard.
"We were a little rushed, a little bit frantic, we needed a little bit of composure on the ball," he said. "We have a very young team and that's just inexperience."
With this game and the hunt for first place behind them, Western must begin preparations for the post-season. Basacco said the two games remaining before the start of the playoffs will help the team, allowing the full roster to accumulate some playing time while the starters rest.
Hasson said he was confident after the Guelph game that his team has the ability to perform well in the playoffs. However, he pointed out the playoffs may not be as easy as the regular season was.
"In the playoffs, we're going to play teams that are going to throw new and different things at us," he said.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999