September 10, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 7  

Front Page >> Sports > Mustang men's soccer team ready to kick ass, er balls


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Mustang men's soccer team ready to kick ass, er balls

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

The Mustangs' offense will take a huge hit with the loss of forward Glen Duerr, who led Ontario University Athletics with 11 goals last year.

However, the Mustangs still return "strikers who are able to score," according to new head coach Steve Langley, who replaced the legendary Rock Basacco. Langley added the Mustangs will operate a very quick-striking offense.

The burden of this offensive philosophy will rest with returning forwards Ciaran McCarthey and Nathan Ivanovich and mid fielder Jason Carrelas, along with newcomers Jason de Thomasis and Genti Dervishi.

Western led the OUA West with 22 goals last season (along with Laurier who also had 22). If they can survive the loss of Duerr's presence and his 50 per cent of the offense and various rookies can step up and fill the scoring role, the Mustangs should once again be able to light up the board.

Given the strength of the Mustangs offense, it pales in comparison to their defense. Langley describes the D as "a smothering defense with a lot of experienced, fit and quick players."

The Mustangs only surrendered seven goals last season, the least among all OUA teams. Defender Gareth Wheeler is a linchpin in the backfield, while Paco Barnett is fierce and aggressive coming to the ball. Add defender Chris Stefanazzi and mid fielder Paul Speakman and the Mustangs should rival the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall or whatever the hell kind of wall they wanna build.

The Mustangs net should be tough as nails with the return of one of Canada's strongest goal tenders, Roberto Caballero Jr.. Caballero Jr., in his third year of eligibility, was tied for second in the OUA with four shutouts.

The loss of Duerr, mid fielder Ryan Leigh and forward Joe Jesseau will have a profound effect during the early part of the Mustangs season. All three were veteran players and with a new crop of youngsters, the Mustangs success is still up in the air.

However, Langley believes the Mustangs should be OK. "We're fairly solid with our veterans and rookies. I'm extremely pleased with the players thus far. We definitely have the potential to be better than last season."

Clearly, Langley will have a very large role to play in the squad's early preparation. Signs look good early as the Mustangs won the Old Four Tournament and an exhibition game against Rochester College. out of Michigan.

The lasting impression of the Mustangs from last season was of a collection of distraught players lying on the ground after the Toronto Varsity Blues defeated them 2-1 in their OUA quarter-final. The Mustangs will look to turn those tears of peril into tears of joy.




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