Men’s soccer storm Paladins at Richardson

Dark and stormy night sees the Gaels hang Royal Military College out to dry, extending their winning streak to nine games

Striker Remi Ojo rises for a header against Royal Military College on Wednesday night at Richardson Stadium.
Striker Remi Ojo rises for a header against Royal Military College on Wednesday night at Richardson Stadium.
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Heavy rains on Wednesday night at Richardson Stadium didn’t drown the men’s soccer team’s winning streak.

The 4-0 victory against the Royal Military College Paladins stretched the Gaels’ unbeaten run to five games.

Queen’s head coach Carlo Cannovan said after a narrow victory over RMC earlier in the season, the Gaels weren’t expecting a blowout.

“It’s a typical local rivalry,” he said. “The first time we played them it was only 1-0 and we played very, very well. We knew it was going to be physical, but we knew that if we stuck to our game plan our technical ability would shine.”

The Gaels controlled the play, keeping the ball in the RMC end for a majority of the game. But several missed attempts, including forward Remi Ojo’s header that went inches wide, kept the Queen’s tally from growing.

Cannovan said the conditions were a factor.

“It was the first time playing in the dark, and the lighting is not the greatest here,” he said. “We take pride in our finishing. We’re a defensive team so when we play on the counter attack we have to make the best of our opportunities.” Midfielder Jordan Brooks said his team played to the Paladins’ level.

“We knew it was a team we were going to out-class, but we figured if we kept it on the ground we’d be able to work it around them,” Brooks said. “It didn’t quite happen like that. We can blame it on the weather, we can blame it on the general scrappiness of the game, but we have a tendency to get chaotic and scrappy when the other team is playing like that.”

The game was physical throughout, including a confrontation that saw Brooks kicked by a Paladins player after a collision with the RMC keeper. Brooks said he expects roughness anytime Queen’s faces their neighbours from across the peninsula.

“You come into it knowing it’s going to be a tough game,” he said. “You can see where they’re coming from. They haven’t won a game yet this season. They’re a program who’s getting better but they have a hard time attracting the top players, so they try to counteract that by being extremely physical.”

The Gaels will look to stretch their winning streak into double digits with their last game of the season in Ottawa against the Carleton Ravens on Saturday.

Brooks said the plan will be similar to Wednesday’s.

“They’re another physical team, they’re known for that,” he said. “We need to focus on keeping it simple and making the other team play to our level.”

The men’s soccer team will play its final regular season game this Saturday at Carleton University.
Guaranteed second place in the OUA East, they have a first-round bye in the playoffs.

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