Men’s soccer starts new season undefeated

Gaels take points from both opening away games

Gaels’ midfielder Michael Arnold fights off a Varsity Blues defender in Sunday’s scoreless draw in Toronto.
Gaels’ midfielder Michael Arnold fights off a Varsity Blues defender in Sunday’s scoreless draw in Toronto.
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Gaels’ first-year defender Matt Kenny plays keep-away from a University of Toronto striker.
Gaels’ first-year defender Matt Kenny plays keep-away from a University of Toronto striker.
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The men’s soccer team started their season undefeated after beating the Ryerson Rams 3-1 and tying the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 0-0 last weekend. The wins place the Gaels atop the early season OUA East standings with four points.

Against the Rams, midfielder Adrian Rochford opened the scoring and striker Jordan Brooks was credited with the other two goals—one a Ryerson own goal. Goaltender Sean Martin-Courtright turned in a strong performance with seven saves before blanking the Blues the next day. Knowing the value of accumulating points from the beginning of the season, Martin-Courtright said he was happy with the Tricolour’s start.

“I think the games went well,” he said. “Taking points away from both games is huge. The win on Saturday was nice—obviously would have been a little bit nicer if I had kept a clean sheet. Then a nil-nil result against Toronto, who is ranked as one of the best teams in the country, made it a good result for the opening weekend.”

During the last weekend of August Queen’s played in the Old Four exhibition tournament against the Western Mustangs, the McGill Redmen and the Varsity Blues before the start of the season. Martin-Courtright said the tournament helped the team shake off the summer rust.

“The Old Four was a way to build the team up and see where some players can fit into certain positions,” he said. “More than anything, it was a way for players to get comfortable where they are playing.“

After an early exit from the playoffs last season, Martin-Courtright said he feels the players on this year’s team are better prepared moving forward.

“We’re still a young team,” he said. “Last year a lot of guys were thrown into the fire and gained the experience that they wouldn’t have gotten had other players stayed. We are a young team, but we have a core of players who have played together for a long time and haven’t reached their peak. We can get some strong results.”

Continuing on their hot start will be crucial for the Gaels should they wish to go deep in the playoffs, Martin-Courtright said.

“We want to be at the top of the league. It’s going to be a competitive year all round, but if we put in the work, we can get the right results and finish on top of this league and book a trip for ourselves for nationals. “

Queen’s will have another shot to beat the Varsity Blues when they play their home opener this Sunday at 3:15 p.m. at Richardson Stadium.

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