Soccer reigns supreme at Western
Mustangs slip by Warriors 2-1 in soccer tilt
By Ryan Hickman
The game was surprise, surprise very close, with Western slipping past the Warriors 2-1. Western (ranked eighth in Canada) came out a little stagnant offensively, with a lot of the play contained to the center-midfield. When the Mustangs did get a good push-up on the flanks, any thoughts of a goal were smothered by Waterloo's all-Canadian sweeper Steven Flatt and his defensive mates.
The Mustangs faltered once defensively and it put them down 1-0 after the three whistles blew signalling the end of the first half. However, it was all purple when the two teams started up on the turf at TD Waterhouse Stadium for the second half.
"They were stroking the ball around quite well," said Waterloo coach Peter Mackie about Western. "In the second half we weren't holding onto the ball long enough and were just defending."
After half time, the Mustangs shot out of the gate, wasting no time in equalizing the score. Joe Jesseau took a pass up the middle 30 yards out, wheeled around and pulled the trigger. Jesseau's shot sputtered along the carpet and sprung off the outstretched body of the Waterloo goalie to tie the score 1-1.
"Our team deflated a little bit after that first goal heads dropped and that brought us right down," Mackie said.
Western cranked up the intensity in the second half and started to control the Warriors. The Mustangs' dominance was most evident in the central- midfield, anchored by Peter Barlas, who was feeding Western's strikers with precision passing.
"You just keep pushing them through and, if we get one or two goals off of 10 shots, that's a good ratio," Barlas said about the opportunities he was giving the strikers.
It was Barlas who set up the winning goal with a pretty little pass out of traffic to Ciaran McCarthy, who pumped the pill into the top left corner without hesitation.
"I knew I was in close range. If they fouled me, I was looking to draw a penalty shot some space opened up and I just laid it to him," Peter remarked about his assist.
Mustangs head coach Rock Basacco said he knew the game had to be won in the second half because the Mustangs lagged a bit in the first half.
"We needed to show a little more intensity in terms of closing them down," Basacco said about the team's lack of drive in the first 45 minutes.
"I think we really came at them as soon as the whistle blew for the second half. The intensity was a little bit stronger for us and we were a little more focused," he added.
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