Volume 93, Issue 17
Tuesday, September 28, 1999
Western turning season around?
TACKLING THE COMPETITION. The women's soccer team were doing whatever it took to turn around their season, beating Brock 2-0 on Saturday.
By Paul Leeking
Despite some early badgering by a pesky young Brock team, the end result was a big win for the Western women's soccer team last Saturday.
After a frustrating first couple of weeks, the women's soccer team was looking to get back into the form which saw them capture the Ontario University Athletics championship last season. The Mustang's did just that as they ousted the Brock Badgers 2-0 at J.W. Little Memorial Stadium. The win lifted the Mustangs to 2-1-1 on the season.
Winger Laura Walker, one of two Western goal scorers, said the key to getting back on the winning track was for the team to loosen up. "We have been playing so hard, but I think we have just been thinking too much. The difference in this game was that we relaxed a lot more and just had fun."
Despite an overall solid game for the Mustangs, the contest was very much in doubt during the early stages. A spirited Brock attack, coupled with a number of missed scoring chances for Western kept the game scoreless in the first half.
A desperate Western team seemed to be having trouble assigning coverage to the Brock forwards and had to be bailed out by the last line of Mustang defence.
Western head coach Sherri Kitching explained the team was having problems establishing and organizing their game plan. "The first half we were trying to make the perfect pass." Kitching said. "We needed to get a lot more hungry for the ball. We needed to challenge them more. We used halftime to regroup."
A more energized and crisp Mustang team emerged from the halftime huddle and were rewarded with the first score of the match. Just past the midway point of the second half, winger Julie Valvasori roared off the right side and was able to tuck a sharp bender into the top left corner over the outstretched Brock goalie Andrea Despatie.
With a 1-0 lead and the elusive first goal behind them, a more determined Western team continued to apply pressure to the quickly fading Badgers.
After finding herself behind a trio of Brock defenders, Walker notched the second Western goal a couple of minutes after the first, beaming a low strike into the back of the Brock net.
The insurance marker proved to be too much for the young Badgers who now fall to 1-2-1 in OUA league play this season. Brock head coach Ron Gourdlay was happy about the performance of his team despite the loss.
"I thought we really played well. The second goal really knocked the stuffing out of us, but our team kept their heads up," he said. "But there isn't any secret when we come here. Western always plays tough."
Kitching said she hoped Western has ironed out the early wrinkles and will continue with their strong and determined play.
The women's team travels to Kitchener next week to take on the winless Laurier Golden Hawks.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999