'Keeper gets fourth shutout

Team effort allows Western to dominate on both sides of the ball

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western men's soccer

Jonas Hrebeniuk

SOMEONE SHOULD TELL THEM THAT THE BUMP AND GRIND HASN’T BEEN COOL SINCE THE ’90s. The ’Stangs tripped up the Windsor Lancers 5-0 Saturday afternoon at Brescia Flats, bringing their season record to 4-1-0.

The Windsor Lancers might want to blame the Brock Badgers for the 5-0 thrashing Western handed them on Saturday.

Brock ended Western’s winning streak at three games last Sunday and was the first team to put a ball past Western’s All-Canadian goalkeeper Haidar Al-Shaibani.

The loss and the goal seemed to light a fire under the Mustangs squad and the Lancers got burned.

Despite the chilly conditions on Saturday, the Mustangs were anything but cold in the game, exploding for four goals in the first half.

Western dominated in their end and on the attack, something the team highlighted in practice last week.

“The focus this past week was working on attacking play, working down the middle, working on the flanks, trying to create those scoring chances,” Mustangs head coach Rock Basacco said.

“In our games before we just lacked a little bit, but today it just clicked for us.”

The scoring started for the Mustangs in the 12th minute after speedy Kyle Washington drew a foul just outside the box. Defender Steve Meagher made no mistake on the free kick and gave the Purple and Silver an early 1-0 lead.

Western kept the onslaught coming and tallied again two minutes later after fourth-year forward Michel Daoust sniped a ball into the top corner past Windsor goalkeeper Dan Mendonca.

Daoust wasn’t finished either. A broken play after a Washington corner kick saw Daoust find an inch of space in traffic and he knocked home his second goal of the game. Twenty minutes in, Western was on top 3-0.

“The boys played a tremendous first half, they played a great game. Getting those three goals [so quickly] is something that we’ve been working on and it finally showed itself,” Basacco said.

After three fast goals, the Mustangs kept the pressure coming with some nifty passing. Paul Arnold ended a tic-tac-toe play when he took a pass from Glenn Chambers in the box for Western’s fourth goal of the game.

The Lancers controlled possession in the Mustangs’ end near the end of the frame but Western was up to the task on the back end, as their defenders shut down the opposition and forced Al-Shaibani to make only one save in the first 45 minutes.

Halftime did little to stop the bleeding for the Lancers, as five minutes into the second half Western struck again.

Chambers blasted a shot on Mendonca and the Windsor goalkeeper made a diving save but couldn’t control the ball. Niko Mavrikos was right on the doorstep and put the Mustangs on top 5-0 in the 50th minute.

Though Windsor responded with a solid effort during the rest of the second half, Lancers head coach Steve Hart wasn’t taking many positives from Saturday’s contest.

“In the second half we changed things around and I thought we played a little bit better but all told we came out very flat. I’m not very pleased at all. We’ve got to look at this and address a few issues,” Hart said.

The Lancers increased their intensity as they closed out the game, but they didn’t have enough to bulge the Western twine.

“We practice defending and defending as a team, and that’s one of the things we stress. We’ve only let in one goal (this season) and that’s a credit to the team,” Daoust said.

“That was our best game of the season, but it wasn’t just the goal scorers, it was the whole team.”

With the win the Mustangs improved to 4-1-0 in the Ontario University Athletics West Division. Western sits two points back of the division-leading York Lions.

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