Volume 93, Issue 10
Wednesday, September 15, 1999
Soccer women split in season opener
©Gazette file photo
KICKING THE BALL. The women's soccer team split a two game series over the weekend. They beat Waterloo 1-0 and lost to Windsor 2-1.
By Wes Brown
The Mustang women took their team mission statement and didn't allow a season opening miscue to keep them from salvaging a one and one record over the weekend.
The women's soccer team split their first two league games against Windsor and Waterloo, losing Saturday to the Lancers 2-1 but managing a 1-0 victory against the Athenas on Sunday.
The team opened this year's season exactly like last year's they lost. Perhaps the biggest shock of the defeat, however, was that Western has only lost to the Lancers once before.
"It was a bit of surprise in terms of quality of play from Windsor. Their goaltender was able to stop some of our best opportunities," said Western coach Sheri Kitching.
More connections were quickly made between this year and last year as the carry over from last season's disappointing finale bowing out late in the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union playoffs seemed to be lurking in the air for the Mustangs during the 90 minute opener.
"The players and the coaching staff were disappointed. We had the same thing happen last year," Kitching said.
The team recovered Sunday as they took out their frustrations from the previous game on their rivals from Waterloo. Led by first-year Althouse student and midfielder Laura Walker, the Mustangs scored once and then let a solid defensive core play the role of stopper for the remainder of the game.
Waterloo's coach, Bruce Rodrigues, said their loss could be attributed to being out-hustled by the Mustangs late in the match.
"Our team collapsed in the second half of the game. Western put the pressure on us and we didn't rise up to the challenge," Rodrigues said.
Western was first to every ball and had many chances over the course of the match to put the ball in the net. Rodrigues said the score could have easily been two or three to nothing if it were not for solid goalkeeping.
"The Mustangs are pretty solid all around. If they need to improve on anything, it's only a matter of delivering the ball where they want it more often and with better accuracy," he said.
Rodrigues added his team needs to regroup and work on their transition game in order to bounce back from this loss. "We didn't test the keeper nearly enough in the game. Next time, we're going to have to attack the wings a little more as well as try and penetrate through the middle," he added.
After the weekend, the team was still optimistic about their chances for the rest of the season. Paula Shurge, second-year honours business administration student and midfielder, put things into perspective. "We haven't been famous for our starts. We didn't play well but we did improve. Where we're lacking most is in our ability to finish," she said.
Despite their loss to Windsor, the team still managed to hold their heads high upon returning home. Looking at the positives instead of the negative aspects of a very rare loss to the Lancers, co-captain and HBA student Carmen Eleshka tried to put the loss into a positive light.
"It was a good experience to have at the beginning of the season. It helps prepare us for the rest of the season, especially after the summer," she said.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999