Gaels pull out Excalibur

Men’s soccer grabs last minute win of the weekend against the Trent Excalibur

When it comes to winning games, the means almost always justify the ends. Whether it is a 10 goal blowout, a one to nothing scrapper or something in between, a win will always be a win. With an up and down 1-2-1 start to the men’s soccer season, the team desperately needed maximum points against the Trent Excalibur going into Saturday. The team came away with a 1-0 win, but not without effort. The first 10 minutes of the game provided the Gaels with two excellent scoring opportunities that they couldn’t capitalize on.

After those two chances, the game fell into a stalemate. The Gaels held the majority of possession but were unable to create much in the offensive zone. Midfielder Eric Cappon described the deadlock.

“We had control of the game,” he said. “[But] when we got into their half we couldn’t keep control of the ball.” Halftime provided the Gaels with a psychological break and a chance to remount the attack. The team created a few more great opportunities, but once again with no results. As failed chances accumulated the team couldn’t help but notice the seconds ticking away on the game clock.

In the final ten minutes the offence threw in all of its chips, but still the seconds leaked away. Finally in the 90th minute of play midfielder Daniel McBride passed the ball to Cappon in the slot. With one shot left, Cappon would come away with the only goal of the game.

“I was just very relieved,” he said. “I was really surprised that the ball came to me in the box. Dan McBride made a great play to me, I shot and I’m glad it went in.” Coming off on the negative end of a few close games has been hard for the Gaels. They entered the season with very high expectations that have so far failed to come to fruition. An 8-3-4 record in 2009 promised only good things to come but success has been elusive. The team has never given up more than two goals so defensive play has not been the chief aspect of concern.

It’s the offence that has failed to make much of a difference, already shutout twice in the first five games.

Head coach Chris Gencarelli says the team is trying to improve these deficiencies.

“[We] need to create more from our wingers and really, from our top four players,” he said. “We need to be more attack-minded and that is something we are working on. We should start scoring more goals soon.” Good things could be on the way with the win on Saturday. Striker Jordan Brooks said he feels the season is about consistency.

“We are getting where we need to be,” he said. “Most importantly we need to keep our confidence up. The loss against Carleton sort of shook us in the opening game. We need to take this game and make it a habit, making winning habit.” With games against Nipissing and Laurentian at home this weekend, the team’s fate is in its own hands. The players and coaches are fully aware of the significance of the weekend.

“[We need] six points,” he said. “This is a big weekend for us. Laurentian and Nipissing are two strong teams that we have historically had issues with, but if we are the team that we think we are, we should be able to take two wins out of the weekend.”

The Gaels will face Nipissing and Laurentian in Kingston next. Check for game times.

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