Volume 93, Issue 31

Tuesday, October 26, 1999


Western comeback foiled by McMaster

Volleyball team spikes opponents

The sweet taste of athletic perfection

Men ready to slam dunk da funk

Women to improve on last year's finish

Mustangs feel the winter chill

Soccer team clinches first - barely

Mike Tyson - suffering from "Iron" deficiency

Soccer team clinches first - barely

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

Despite the Western women's soccer team's loss to Wilfrid Laurier University last weekend, they managed to hold on to their first place ranking in the Ontario University Athletics West division as they head into the playoffs.

The key 3-1 loss to the Golden Hawks was not the game head coach Sheri Kitching said her team was anticipating. She added it came down to Laurier simply wanting the win more than the Mustangs did.

"We didn't adapt to the field conditions as well as we could have and because of it we couldn't string any passes together. The girls just didn't play well together," Kitching said.

The Mustangs' were able to remain in first place for now, as McMaster University, Western's rival for first place, lost their game against the University of Guelph, 1-0. Kitching said they wanted to guarantee the first place spot going into this game and not doing so will make the playoffs more difficult.

"Laurier has always been a big rival of ours and in the second half of the game they took advantage of the corner kicks and free kicks that we didn't," she said.

Laurier head coach Barry Maclean said his team played very well – aggressively on both offence and defence. "This was probably the best game we've played all season," he said.

Kitching added the team has put the loss behind them and hoped the experience could be used as preparation for their OUA quarter final game. "Our current roster knows what it takes to get [to the finals] and I hope it is something we can recapture this year."

Second-year sweeper Emily Wray said her team didn't play their usual game and as a result didn't play that well. "We were really pumped the week before [we played] Mac and in the process didn't prepare well for this game. Both of [Laurier's] goals came in the second half, off of free kicks and when you're playing in bad weather conditions – that's never good," Wray said.

Although Laurier did not qualify for the playoffs, they will be hosting the Canadian Nationals and Maclean said he feels good about his team going into that competition.

"It has taken a bit of time. We have a lot of young players who had to start believing in the systems we run. They are really starting to come around and four wins in our last four games have proven we are a team to reckon with," he said.

When entering the playoffs in Ottawa this weekend, Wray said her team cannot dwell on the loss to Laurier, but must really prepare for the competition ahead of them.

"We're hoping [the playoffs] will turn out well. Last year we won and I think that's a definite possibility again this time," she said.

The soccer team travels to Ottawa for the OUA championships Oct. 29.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999