Mustangs barely excape opener loss
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Anna K. needs some serious inspection
National champs hungry for it again
By Ryan Dixon
The men's soccer team kicked off their season this weekend with a successful pair of home games. On Saturday the Windsor Lancers came to town and played the Mustangs to a close 1-1 tie. On Sunday, Western pulled their efforts together and shut out the Waterloo Warriors 2-0.
The young Windsor Lancers provided a stiff challenge for the two time defending national champion Mustangs. The game was a tense, tightly contested affair that featured several yellow cards, doled out for rough play on both sides of the ball.
Windsor head coach Fabio Marras, conceded that his team had some butterflies coming into the match and it showed early. "The first 15 minutes we had some jitters," he said.
Western took advantage of this by jumping out to a lead. Striker Glen Duerr found the net providing the Mustangs with a one goal advantage. "I was able to beat the last defender and slipped it into the far right corner," Duerr said, of his goal.
The Mustang goal seemed to further shake the Lancers, as Western then began to dictate the pace of the game by taking control of the field. Marras admitted that his squad suffered a setback when Duerr scored his goal, but he was still proud of the way they were able to battle back.
"The Western goal seemed to unsettle us, but we pulled it back together and had a great effort in the second half," he said.
Coming away from the first half only one goal shy, The Lancers showed they were not about to let the more experienced Mustangs push them around. Late in the game Windsor's hard work paid off, as they got the equalizing goal on a play Western coach Rock Basacco described as a bit of a "bad break".
The Mustangs had a few opportunities to regain the lead, but nothing that amounted to any spectacular scoring opportunities. Basacco said Western's inability to manufacture the go-ahead goal was typical of his team's play.
"We need to work on our attack. Many times we were able to penetrate and create opportunities but we weren't able to finish," he said.
Duerr said he agreed the Mustangs will have to refine their offensive skills if they are to improve this season. "We had far too many long balls, we need to work out some of the kinks and that is going to take a little time," he said.
A 1-1 draw was clearly not the result the Mustangs had in mind. Basacco pulled no punches in assessing the final score. "We are definitely a little disappointed in the tie and we have a lot of things to work on," he said.
On the Windsor side of the ball, Marras spoke of the great confidence boost his team had, knowing they were able to play with the national champions right through to the end of the match.
On Sunday, the Mustangs' offence was able to notch a pair of goals against the Warriors. Western goalkeeper Craig Mazur played strong, recording the shut out and Glen Duerr found the zone for the second time in as many games. Martin Painter struck a magnificent goal which Basacco could only refer to as one of the best goals he has ever seen in his time at Western.
Men's soccer will see action next Saturday when they travel to Guelph to take on the Gryphons.