Men’s soccer defeats Voyageurs, Lakers

Gaels vault into second place

Mike Arnold (14) chases the ball in the Gaels’ game against Nipissing Sunday.
Mike Arnold (14) chases the ball in the Gaels’ game against Nipissing Sunday.

The men’s soccer team beat both the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Nipissing Lakers at Richardson Stadium this weekend, coming away with 2-0 and 2-1 victories.

The previous weekend, Queen’s beat Laurentian 3-0 and lost to Nipissing 1-0.

Going into the weekend’s action, the Gaels were third in the OUA East with 11 points, three behind Nipissing but one ahead of Laurentian. The pair of wins gave them six points, moving them up into second place behind the Carleton Ravens.

In Saturday’s game against the Voyageurs, Queen’s generated several scoring chances early. But neither team could capitalize until the 36th minute, when Gaels’ striker Tyler Swan beat Laurentian goalkeeper Andre Gomes with a powerful low drive from 25 yards out.

Shortly after the halftime break, midfielder Nick Milonas added an insurance goal for the Gaels when he took the ball in midfield, beat two defenders and blasted a 35-yard shot into the top left corner of the net.

Queen’s goalkeeper Sean Martin-Courtright made four saves to earn the shutout.

Milonas said he was impressed with the team’s performance against Laurentian, but that there’s still more work to be done.

“I thought it was great,” he said. “We definitely stuck it out in the second half. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement, and it wasn’t the best of games, but it showed that our team can basically win under any circumstances.”

Head coach Chris Gencarelli said he thought Saturday’s game was a partial step backwards for the team.

“Especially the first half, I thought, was a step down from last weekend. Even though we had the loss last weekend against Nipissing, I thought we played really well and we were on the road to where we wanted to be,” he said. “There’s still definitely room for improvement.”

Gencarelli said the team needs to work on their passing.

“Just moving the ball a bit quicker, we still have to play to feet. We got caught playing a few more long balls than we wanted to.”

On Sunday the team faced Nipissing in a battle for second place in the OUA East.

Nipissing took the lead in the 28th minute when striker Alagie Gaye headed the ball home off a free kick. Queen’s evened the score 11 minutes later when midfielder David Kerr-Vayne slid and knocked a loose ball in off a scramble near the goal line.

In the second half, Swan broke into the box in the 76th minute and scored to make the final score 2-1.

Swan said the Gaels’ ability to make good on scoring chances made the difference between this week’s win and last week’s loss against Nipissing.

“Last week, we had a lot of chances,” he said. “We worked hard and had a lot of chances again, but this week, we buried them.”

Kerr-Vayne said the two games were dramatically different.

“We moved the ball a lot better, and we played much better as a team—last time we were a bit more individualistic in our approach, but today was very team-oriented, and a good result.”

Gencarelli said the team still has a lot of work to do.

“I wasn’t too pleased with their performance today,” he said. “We all agree, we know we should play better, but we got it done, we got six points, and that’s the most important thing.”

Gencarelli said the team needs to improve their defensive play on free kicks and corner kicks.

“We conceded a goal that we tend to concede, and I’m getting really frustrated with that, with those set pieces. That’s something we still need to work on.”

Next week, the Gaels will go on the road to face the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.

Gencarelli said the Blues will be tough.

“We match up well together, so it’s usually a good close game,” he said.

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