Volume 94, Issue 44

Thursday, November 16, 2000


SPORTS

'Whale' of a game for the Mustangs

OHL gets tough on Knights

Dual in Regina on the mat for wrestlers

Preparing for ice wars

'Whale' of a game for the Mustangs



By Pat Kane
Gazette Staff



The Western men's waterpolo team fell into some hot water ending their regular season with a loss to McMaster on Tuesday night, but still slid away with a spot in post-season play.

Western fell to first place McMaster by a score of 18-10. With the loss, the Mustangs drop to a record of 8-6, but still qualify for the playoffs by finishing in fourth place.

Western kept the match close through the first two quarters, but failed to capitalize on the many shots they had.

Western head coach, Ray Lumsden, said he was pleased with his squad's season finale, but said his players have to finish plays to improve on their consistency.

"We played well through the first two quarters but couldn't finish on our chances," he said. "McMaster countered on our attack and beat us in the second half."

Part of the problem for the Mustangs was trying to contain McMaster swimmer, Matt Whalen, who gunned in nine markers for the winners.

As for Western, Dave Fenicky led the Mustangs in scoring with four goals, while Rob Clark, Matt Buckley and Jamie Burr, rounded out the rest of Western's scoring. Lumsden said Buckley played best for his squad offensively and especially defensively.

McMaster head coach, Quinn Fairly, said he thought the Mustang's play was uncharacteristic of how they had played the Marauders in the past.

"Western played us better in our pool," Fairly said. "They have the potential to play really well but didn't show it tonight."

Fairly's club ends the season in first place and aims at winning the Ontario University Athletics championships, but maintains that the playoffs are a new season and anything can happen.

"I've been involved in waterpolo for eight years and in all the time I've been here I cannot recall a team that finished first in the regular season and ended up winning the OUAs," Fairly said.

If the statistics are correct, Western has a promising shot at coming up big in the post-season. Western's keeper, Jim Maclachlan, said he feels his club has the potential to upset any team, but says they have to work on playing the entire game with consistency.

"We definitely lost it in the second half. McMaster played well defensively and it was tough for us to finish on our shots," Maclachlan said. "We have to learn to play the entire game if we want to win.

"McMaster is a beatable team for us and if we improve on our consistency, we should have no problems in the playoffs."

The Mustangs enter the opening round playing the first place team in their division. Western plans on changing very little going into the first round and coach Lumsden said he is confident with his team's ability to pull out some victories.

"As long as we stick to our strategy and our heads are in the game for the entire match, we should be OK We don't plan on changing much in our system. We just have to focus on putting the ball in the net," Lumsden added.


To Contact The Sports Department:
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Copyright The Gazette 2000