Volume 96, Issue 11
Tuesday September 17, 2002

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Mustangs boot their way to a clean sweep

By Sue Cardenas
Gazette Staff

Lennie Kwan/Gazette

THE SOCCER BALL'S REDEEMING QUALITIES ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST. The Western Mustangs blew past the competition this weekend, sweeping their home series.

The Western Mustangs men's soccer team snagged a sweep this weekend as they defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs 2-1 on Saturday and the Nipissing Lakers 4-2 on Sunday, with both games being played at TD Waterhouse Stadium.

"The team showed a lot of character," said Mustangs assistant coach Steve Langley. "The final cut was made about a week ago, with nine rookies joining the team. I am extremely happy with the way the team is coming together."

The Sunday afternoon duel opened with an early goal from the Mustangs, setting the stage for Mustang domination in the first half. The superior Western squad attempted 17 shots in the first half alone, with most coming from defender Gareth Wheeler and forward Glen Duerr.

Unfortunately, the Western pressure produced only a one-goal lead through the completion of the first half.

Although the Lakers appeared scattered in the first half, they came out ready to fight in the second, scoring two quick goals.

The Mustangs, however, answered the turnaround and midfielder Ryan Leigh buried a textbook cross to tie the game.

The goal seemed to completely sway the tide in the Mustangs' favour. Western emerged with the lead on a penalty shot (for roughing) and then iced the game when midfielder Jason Carrelas corralled a rebound off the Lakers, scoring easily.

Unfortunately, dispute marred the result. Lakers head coach Ed Zygmowt voiced his displeasure at a non-call before the third Western goal was scored.

"The problem is the referee doesn't know the rules," Zygmowt said, explaining he had requested a substitution when a throw-in was called, but the referee refused the request. According to Ontario University Athletics rules, a substitution is allowed on a throw-in. The linesman acknowledged the sub, but the referee seemed to dismiss it.

Nipissing walked away from the weekend with a 4-1 loss to Windsor and the aforementioned 4-2 loss to Western. Zygmowt said his squad was running on empty heading into the Western showdown.

"It was a difficult game for us at Windsor because we had a nine-hour bus ride to get there," Zygmowt said. "These are the things that have to be considered when the OUA expands. We would have also liked to have had more time to prepare for what we were up against."

The Mustangs looked impressive in the first two games of their season and head coach Rock Basacco was clear regarding his feelings about the game. "We definitely dominated the entire 90 minutes," he said.

Wheeler noted the Mustangs did what they had to do in the second half.

"We were really concentrating on finishing. With 17 shots on goal in the first half and only one goal to show for it, we knew we had to finish off those shots in order to win," he said.

The Mustangs look to improve on their perfect 2-0 regular season record this week when they play away games against the York Yeomen on Friday and the Toronto Varsity Blues on Sunday.

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2002 THE GAZETTE