McCarthy comes through in the clutch
for division title
By James Grant
STOP TRYING TO STEAL MY NUMBER! Mustangs soccer player
Gentjan Dervishi fends off a numberless Waterloo player
who tried vainly to take his Don Mattingly-esque No.
Under overcast skies, the Western Mustangs' men's soccer team
was forced to wait another day for a shot at clinching their
2003 Ontario University Athletics West Division title as they
fell 1-0 to Waterloo on Saturday.
Western did end up clinching on Sunday against Laurier by
tying them 1-1 on a Ciaran McCarthy goal in the 90th minute
to tie the game.
But Waterloo, a possible playoff opponent, gave Western more
than they could handle.
The Warriors, who finished second to the Mustangs in the division,
were looking to score early against the defensively sound home
"Every game with Western is competitive and with the
defense they have you really need to score early and hang on
after that," said Waterloo coach Peter Mackie.
"We really were not creating any chances against Western
up until we put in the goal. And we really didn't create anything
huge after that either," Mackie added.
Western saw itself with the better chance of the two teams
and came up empty on a number of great set pieces.
In the first half it actually looked as though the Mustangs
were toying with the Warriors on the flanks. The ball movement
was outstanding, leading to a number of scoring chances that
just missed the posts.
The first half ended with an abundance of mid field play that
saw each team turn the ball over on careless possessions.
That kind of play carried over into the second half and 15
minutes in, on a bad clear by Western, Waterloo's David Mills
redirected a cross into the goal for the game's lone marker.
"My coach had put a lot of pressure on me to come up
with a goal today and I am just happy to come through for him," Mills
said. "Western is a great team and they had beaten us
at home earlier in the year. This was some retribution before
To the Mustangs' credit they didn't roll over and die after
the goal. The Western attack gave the team some great free
kicks to work with and a couple of nice runs by Jason De Thomasis
and Jeffrey Russell were barely turned aside.
"We knew from the get-go Waterloo was going to play tough," said
Mustangs coach Steve Langley. "We played well all over
but we just could not finish. If we are going to have a successful
playoff run we are going to have to start scoring more goals.
Our defense is outstanding and if we put a few in the net,
we will be one hard team to stop."
Western's chances of clinching the division title appeared
to take another turn for the worse in Sunday's game against
Laurier. Needing only a tie to clinch, the Mustangs were hanging
on to a scoreless tie until Laurier got a late goal in the
Western quickly regrouped and Ciaran McCarthy scored in the
90th minute to help the Mustangs emerge with a tie.
With first place clinched, Western advances to the OUA quarter-finals
this Sunday at 3 p.m. on the Brescia Fields.