October 7 , 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 22  

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SPORTS

Toronto gives Mustangs the Blues

By Christopher Clarke
Gazette Writer

Matt Prince
DON’T WORRY, THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SEASON OF PARADISE HOTEL NEXT YEAR. A Mustang player consoles a distraught teammate. He may also have been upset about the Mustangs’ 1-0 loss to Toronto.

On a cool Sunday afternoon the Toronto Varsity Blues men’s soccer team did what very few teams have been able to do in the last two years — beat the Mustangs.

Toronto defeated Western by a score of 1-0 Sunday afternoon at TD Waterhouse Stadium, the first loss of the season for the Mustangs and the second loss in as many tries to the Varsity Blues.

Toronto, ranked second in the nation, was looking to improve on their perfect 5-0-0 record. Western, ranked fourth in the nation, was looking to avenge last season’s loss to the Varsity Blues in the Ontario University Athletics quarter-finals and add another victory to this season’s 5-0-1 record.

“I was impressed with our ability to handle Western’s pressure,” said Toronto coach John Vidovich. “The game could have gone either way.”

And what pressure it was.

Western played strong defensively throughout the first half, stopping everything Toronto tried to put through the middle of the field. “All of our defense played well today,” said Mustangs coach Steve Langley, after the game. The Mustangs played strong on the ball defense, not allowing the Blues to keep possession for any length of time.

Offensively, the Mustangs looked to Ciaran McCarthy early, who got off two excellent shots in the 19th and 20th minutes of the game. Blues striker Micheal D’Angelo had two point-blank opportunities of his own in the 35th and 37th minutes, but failed to elude Mustang keeper Mark Tagliaferri.

The second half looked like it would belong to the Mustangs, who came out on fire for the first 20 minutes. Their best scoring opportunity came in the first minute of the half off a free kick from Mustang striker Jason DeThomasis, who forced Blues keeper Robert Bucciarelli to make a sprawling stop to keep the game scoreless.

The fans in attendance were kept on the edge of their seats as the Mustangs amassed a number of scoring chances but failed to capitalize on a single one. In the 71st minute, Toronto forward Tommy Kouzmanis made an excellent individual run down the end line, beating two Mustang defenders before being brought down inside Western’s box.

The referee awarded a penalty kick to Toronto. Tagliaferri made a good effort on Kouzmanis’ penalty shot, even managing to get a hand on a piece of the ball, which rang off the inside of the post and into the net putting Toronto up 1-0 with less than 20 minutes to play. The Mustangs refused to give up, quickly retrieving the ball from their net and starting anew at centre.

Blues coach Vidovich credits forward Kern Juman for Sundays’ win. “I took him out early in the game — he’s such a versatile player that when I got him back in later on, he changed the game for us.”

The Mustangs will have a good chance to get back in the win column on Wednesday when they face the last place Windsor Lancers.

In spite of the loss, coach Langley remains optimistic. “I thought we played excellent — everyone played well. We’re looking forward to seeing them again in the playoffs this year.”

 

 

 

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