The men’s soccer team hosted their crosstown rivals, the Royal Military College Paladins, at Richardson Stadium Wednesday evening. Queen’s took three points with a 1-0 win and moved into a tie for third place in the OUA. After a disheartening weekend away where they managed only one point against the Nipissing Lakers and Laurentian Voyageurs, the Gaels donned their golden home jerseys and took the field looking to continue their winning history against RMC. The Gaels have never lost a game to the Paladins, but that streak looked to be in jeopardy through the first half of Wednesday’s game, which ended 0-0. Methodical play kept the Gaels in the game, but prevented them from achieving a high level of intensity or creating too many offensive chances. Defender Justin Vermeer said he wasn’t impressed with the team’s play but he was happy they came out on top.
“We looked sloppy and didn’t play our best soccer, but a win is a win,” he said.
The Gaels pulled ahead with a 30-yard strike from Mike Arnold early in the second half. They maintained control through the rest of the game, but couldn’t score again. Arnold leads Queen’s with three goals, and is tied for second place in goals scored in the OUA. Things almost went downhill for Queen’s when RMC created a late chance that had both teams scrambling for the ball inside the Gaels’ six-yard box. The Paladins couldn’t convert and remained scoreless. Goalkeeper Sean Martin-Courtright recorded the Gaels’ first shutout of the season. Vermeer said the Gaels’ talented young players have mixed well with the seasoned returning players, showing promise for the rest of the season. “Rookies are stepping up, but leadership is shown from veteran players,” he said. The Gaels are scheduled to meet Nipissing and Laurentian on Saturday and Sunday, which will be their fourth and fifth games in nine days.
Vermeer said the team is eager to reclaim the points they lost to those teams on the road last weekend. “It would be nice to take Laurentian this weekend,” Vermeer said. “We need to get the points back at home.”
Vermeer said the Gaels will need to work on ball control and taking advantage of their scoring opportunities. “Possessing the ball is something we have to look at and finishing the chances we get,” he said.
The men’s soccer team plays the Nipissing Lakers Saturday and the Laurentian Voyageurs Sunday at Richardson Stadium. Kick-off is at noon both days.
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