October 28, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 32  

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SPORTS

'Stangs quiet rabid fans

By Alison Stolz
Gazette Staff

Dallas Curow/Gazette
SLIDING TO VICTORY. Mustangs Jason De Thomasis defends his ground by slide-tackling a Laurentian player — mud and all.

With tensions fuming and pots banging, the men's soccer team advanced to the final four, beating the Laurentian Voyageurs on Sunday 2-0 at the Brescia Fields.

Laurentian fans came out in droves, driving six hours only to see their team fall to the Mustangs.

"We have great fans," said Voyageurs coach Carlos Castrechino. "We are a smaller school and we're all closely knit, but we really appreciate them and their efforts."

The fans, dressed in gold and royal blue, were a strong presence at the game with noise makers, signs and lots of pots and pans.

"We knew it was coming -it doesn't bother the guys at all," said Mustangs coach Steve Langley. "When we go to Sudbury it's a little more intimidating because there are three times more fans and there are cliffs all around the field. But here, its nothing." Mustang fans were not invisible either. Many attended in purple and white clothing and their cheering showed their support for Western.

"Laurentian is a good team and they have definitely improved over the season," Langley said. "With our early goal today, they were forced to play catch up and with our skilled players, that is a very difficult task."

The Mustangs played a strong defensive game, stopping the Voyageurs from controlling the play. Midfielder Gareth Wheeler pushed himself to the limits against Laurentian, not letting anyone past. Defenseman Patrick Barnett also helped keep Laurentian out of the Mustangs end.

"Although it was a close game against Western last time we played them, we knew they were strong and we had to stick to our game plan," Castrechino said. "We fell behind -it was unfortunate for us, but I would have to say the better team won today." Up front, the men played aggressively, exploiting Laurentian's mistakes to their advantage. Laurentian fouled in the first half, which gave the Mustangs a free kick in the Voyageurs end. Striker Jason De Thomasis used the opportunity to score the first goal of the game. Midfielder Jason Carrelas also played a dynamic game both ways and had many goal scoring opportunities.

Forward Ciaran McCarthy scored the second goal early in the second half, giving the Mustangs more leverage. "I just went out there to work hard," McCarthy said. "As a fifth-year player, I wanted to lead by example, just doing all I could."

"[The Mustangs] played hard. We could have played better, but they used their two chances to score goals, whereas we didn't," Castrechino said.

The Mustangs attributed much of their success to a week of hard practice, though their big test was the game itself. It seems the Mustangs passed with flying colours. "We took their mistakes and just rolled with them," Langley said. "I wouldn't have changed any part of the game. We will fine-tune our systems and prepare for the next step."

 

 

 

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