Ruggers win, lose key players in process
`Stangs have productive weekends
Tying up the weekend field hockey action
`Stangs have productive weekends
By Wes Brown
Entering the second half of the regular season, the Western women's soccer team kicked it up a notch by beating Wilfrid Laurier and Brock universities this weekend.
Both the Golden Hawks and the Badgers were shutout by the Mustangs, 2-0 and 1-0 respectively. The two games, however, were played very differently from one another.
Western's assistant coach Peter Russell said the team played well against Laurier and well enough to beat Brock. "Both teams played us really hard. Laurier is traditionally our big rival and any game against them is a little more special. We could have taken advantage of a lot more opportunities we had in the Brock game." Russell said.
Despite missing chances and needing to be more opportunistic in their play, Russell said he feels confident going into the second half of the season and commended the team for the improvements made from the beginning of the year.
"The league is coming down to ourselves, [McMaster] and Guelph. The key to coming out on top will be who plays at the highest level more consistently. Those teams playing no less than 90 minutes of soccer will come out on top," he said.
Western midfielder and co-captain Carmen Aleshka said the win against Laurier was great because it was the first time the Mustangs have ever won on artificial turf.
"Turf games are usually very fast and it makes it more difficult to control the ball. This is the only game during the whole year we play on turf and beating Laurier made it that much better," Aleshka said.
She added in the game against Brock, they dominated but were unable to capitalize when chances arose. "Our biggest problem was sitting back after scoring the initial goal. We have to try and play 90 minutes," she said.
Laurier head coach Barry MacLean complimented a strong Western team who were definitely the better squad in the match. "We did quite well for the first 60 minutes. Western scored two goals in 10 minutes and really broke our back. We lost focus near the end and it definitely cost us."
Laurier has had a tough season, losing five players to injuries, but with those players coming back in the next little while, MacLean said he is looking forward to a late season run. "We've had a tough time scoring goals. One of our key players is already back and I hope I will have the other four soon."
The Mustangs face off today against the Waterloo Athenas at 3 p.m. at the Huron Flats.
By Sean Maraj
Everybody has an off day. For the Western men's soccer team, that day was Friday.
The Mustangs tied Wilfrid Laurier University 2-2 on Friday, but managed to recover and beat Brock University 5-2 on Sunday.
The team went into their game against Laurier very strong, outscoring the Golden Hawks 2-0 in the first half. Although Western played solid offence in the second half, the defence came apart. When the smoke cleared, Western had let in two goals and the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
"In the first half we were quite poor, in the second we played better, but overall Western outplayed us," said Laurier head coach Barry Maclean of his team's performance.
Western's head coach, Rock Basacco, also said he thought there was room for improvement, especially when all aspects of the performance were considered. "Overall the offensive part of the game was good, we need to tighten up our defence. We need to go back and work on our defensive skills," Basacco said.
He added the tie was the result of many lost opportunities. "It took a little while to get accustomed to the turf, when we got adjusted we scored two goals including a beautiful goal by Alan Hume," Basacco said. "We created a lot of chances but didn't capitalize."
While Western could only manage two goals against Laurier, the team came up big against Brock, opening fire as an offensive force and putting the ball in the back of the net five times.
"We had to go into Brock and have a strong finish," Basacco said. "We scored five goals, but the backside of that being that we let two in."
Brock head coach Bill Millar was happy with his team's performance despite the loss and thought the score didn't reflect the way his team played.
"We played much better against Western in this game than in the last game we played at Western," he said. "We started off very quickly, but Western came out in the second half and they certainly deserve to be ranked number one. They just kept piling it on."
With these two games behind them the Mustangs will now move on to face Waterloo today at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium at 5 p.m..