"Incredible, absolutely incredible" win for champs
Nets delay water polo match
Hockey team lighting it up
Too bad it had to end like this
Nets delay water polo match
By Matthew Hillsf
Saturday afternoon the Mustang men's water polo team advanced their record to 5-1 in regular season play.
The win came by way of the Mustangs' strong defence, which they executed to overcome a beginning full of distraction and frustration as they dominated a well-prepared and top-ranked Toronto Varsity Blues Squad.
The Mustangs faced off against the Varsity Blues Western two weeks ago despite being plagued by injuries and eked out a single point victory, which is a strong factor that contributed to the Mustangs' pressure to come out on the winning end of the match.
Although the match was set to begin at 1 p.m. at the University Community Centre pool, it started late because the nets were left at the Thames Hall pool. Once the oversight was discovered, some frustrated Western players promptly went to retrieve them so the match could get underway.
This distraction, coupled with Western's routine of normally practicing in the smaller Thames Hall pool, meant the Western team was slightly out of their element in the UCC, providing more pressure.
The Mustangs struck early and often, scoring four goals in the first quarter. Solid defence from the men wouldn't allow the Blues to set up an efficient offence. These factors combined to give Western a 4-2 edge in the first quarter.
While the Mustangs offence was not as potent in the second quarter as they only scored once, their defence continued to stifle the Blues. Going into the half, Western held a commanding 5-2 lead.
The third quarter saw the Mustangs destroy any hopes Toronto harboured of a victory. Mustang centre forward Rob Clark, scored a back breaking goal on a no-look, behind-the-back shot which hit the right post and careened past a diving Toronto tender.
Western goaltender Jim Mclauglhin, continued his rock solid effort, turning away repeated shots from the Blues attack. The sluffing Toronto defence seemed incapable of stopping up the hole on which Western scored eight of its eleven goals.
The final quarter saw Western successfully eat the clock against a paralyzed Toronto defence. Western emerged from the pool 11-7.
Toronto assistant coach, Mike Mandell, said Western had a strong squad.
"Western is a good unit, particularly their goalie," he said. "They work very well together."
First-year Western coach, Ray Lumsden, said he recognized the victory as an important one and the defence as the deciding factor.
"Our defence, particularly tending, won us the game," Lumsden said.
On offence, centre-forward Rob Clark carried the team with seven goals. Eventually Toronto was forced to modify their defence to account for Clark's play. Western right side driver, Dave Fenickly, admitted the team had prepared for the modification.
That same night saw Western face off against a fresh York squad. Last year the Mustangs faced York and lost in the finals. An off game by Western tender Jim Mclauglhin and the intimidation factor lead to a 14-7 victory for York.