October 21 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 28   

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McCarthy comes through in the clutch for division title

By James Grant
Gazette Writer

Dallas Curow/Gazette
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. 23.

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 side.

"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 the playoffs."

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 87th minute.

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.





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