Home sweet home

With a disappointing season-opener against the Carleton Ravens, the men’s soccer team redeemed themselves with a strong showing against the Trent Excalibur on Sunday at Richardson Stadium, defeating them 4-1.

After suffering a season ending loss to the Carleton Ravens in a shootout last year, the Gaels hoped to bring their pre-season success to Ottawa. The Gaels instead went home empty-handed with a 2-0 loss.

“We came off a pretty disappointing loss yesterday,” said midfielder Gilbert Coyle. “We didn’t play nearly as well as we had in the preseason or as we were expecting.”

The Gaels’ loss to Carleton prompted a change in their strategy against Trent. Coyle explained the team aimed to free up space and give their best players like midfielder Mike Arnold areas to score.

“We switched the formation a bit today,” he said. “We had two guys sitting in the middle and we played really well [through the fiekd].” Coyle took advantage of this change scoring two of the Gaels’ four goals in their win against Trent. Midfielder Michael Arnold and striker Patrick Zanetti scored the two other goals for the home team.

Trent, having won only three games last season, did not offer as much of a challenge as the Ravens. However, Coyle explains it wasn’t the different opponent that changed the play, but a tighter, more determined team on the field.

“We passed the ball a lot better [and] we played it on the ground from the back to the front,” he said.

Returning head coach Chris Gencarelli agreed with Coyle and said that the Gaels produced more opportunities with the open field against Trent.

“We definitely created more today than we did yesterday against Carleton,” he said. “Guys [were] looking to shoot and basically being more creative in the attacking third.”

With a lively crowd on hand at the Gaels’ home-opener, Gencarelli attributed the win to the team’s energy and excitement before the game.

“I think it was a certain level of urgency that we didn’t have against Carleton that we showed today,” he said. “Maybe it was because it was the home-opener ... but the guys came out and were really ready to set the tone and play hard.”

With the graduation of Sean Martin-Courtright, the position of goalkeeper is still up in the air. First-year Maxfield Materne has been in goal for the Gaels’ first two games.

“The two that we brought in have shown well so far but so have the returning keepers,” he said. “I’ve been pleased with their progress … It’s early on so we’ll see what happens.”

The Gaels are travelling to Toronto next weekend to face off against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday and the Ryerson Rams on Sunday.

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