Volume 95, Issue 25

Wednesday, October 17, 2001
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Men serving up perfection

Tough tennis played in Montreal

Refs pull the blind act

Birdies fly 'Stangs way

Squashed competition

Refs pull the blind act

Mustangs fall to the Gryphons

By Ben Mills
Gazette Staff

Claims of poor officiating bogged down the Western field hockey team's chance to end their regular season on a high note, as they dropped a 2-1 decision to Guelph.

"Questionable calls influenced the game, but Guelph deserved to win," Western head coach Jennifer Symmes said.

The young Mustang squad has been known for using speed to exploit opponents this season, but on this day, Symmes said they were not up to snuff.

"We didn't play to our potential. Guelph came out strong in the first half, but [they] were able to capitalize on only one scoring opportunity," Symmes said.

The Mustang players expressed much of the same sentiment as their coach. "It was a frustrating loss for us," Western's Andrea Glen said.

Western made a few mistakes in the transitional game, allowing Guelph to set-up in the neutral zone. Those mistakes lead to a Gryphon goal midway through the first half, giving Guelph a 1-0 lead.

"We wanted the win, but we couldn't get it together as a team," Glen said. Both teams were evenly matched talent-wise, but it was those mistakes, along with a few questionable calls by the officials, that gave Guelph the upper-hand.

The loss puts Western in a difficult position in the playoffs, as they are up against the University of Toronto for the first round.

"Toronto is number one in their division, but we've played well against them in the past," Glen said.

"The loss puts a fire under the feet of our girls. It shows we can't take anything for granted," Symmes said.

Guelph head coach Karen Lee said the Gryphons could have been more opportunistic early in the game. "We came out strong in the first, but couldn't capitalize on a number of scoring opportunities," Lee said.

"We had a bit of a mental lapse in the second half, but all-in-all we played a tight game," Lee added. The win moves Guelph out of the division basement, just in time for the playoffs.

Oliver Corea/Gazette
SHE CARRIES A BIG STICK. Mustang Field Hockey player Carolyn Corcoran (in dark unform) attempts to stymie the opposition.

In the second half, Guelph once again came on strong, leading to another goal, but then the Gryphons sat back on their two goal lead, giving Western an opportunity to come back.

"We could have played better in the second half, but we managed to hold off a late surge by the Mustangs," Lee said.

Western showed signs of life late in the second when Lindsay Dold tipped in a shot from the corner. It was too late though – with little over two minutes remaining in the game, Guelph's defence came together and put Western's hopes of a comeback to rest.

Great goaltending on both sides of the field also dictated the outcome of the game. "Both teams, goal tenders played outstanding," Lee said.

There is little time for Western to recuperate from the loss as the post-season begins next week with the Mustangs travelling to Toronto to face the U of T Varsity Blues.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001