Another clean weekend

Defence keeps Queen’s in first place through midway point

The men’s soccer team remains undefeated (6-0-1) after beating Nipissing and Laurentian on the weekend.
The men’s soccer team remains undefeated (6-0-1) after beating Nipissing and Laurentian on the weekend.
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Queen’s avenged last year’s playoff loss to Laurentian with a 1-0 win.
Queen’s avenged last year’s playoff loss to Laurentian with a 1-0 win.
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Goalkeeper Dylan Maxwell extended his shutout streak to four games this weekend, keeping Queen’s undefeated season alive.

The Gaels secured a pair of 1-0 victories at home, topping the Nipissing Lakers and Laurentian Voyageurs.

Head coach Chris Gencarelli said Maxwell was outstanding.

“Dylan has had a phenomenal season so far,” he said. “He is, along with the back four, the reason we’ve only conceded two goals this year.”

Queen’s had a strong start to Saturday’s game against Nipissing, getting the only real chance of the first half when defender Joe Zupo got his head on a well-taken corner.

Zupo’s effort beat the Lakers’ keeper, but a defender was there to clear the ball from the line.

The Gaels continued to apply pressure in the second half, as Nathan Klemencic and Zupo each had a header saved on set pieces.

Midfielder Henry Bloemen finally broke the deadlock with a header in the 72nd minute, off a throw-in from defender Kristian Zanette.

Gencarelli said Nipissing was a tough team to break down defensively.

“It was a game that needed grinding out, and we were able to get the one goal that we needed,” he said. “Three points is three points.”

Queen’s suffered through a tense moment early in Sunday’s match against Laurentian, when defender Marco D’Elia took down a Voyageurs attacker on a breakaway just outside the 18-yard box.

D’Elia could have been sent off with a red card for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity, but he escaped with only a yellow. The resulting Laurentian free kick just missed outside the right post.

The game later erupted in the second half, with both keepers denying several glorious chances.

In the 63rd minute, half-time sub Lucas Lobo found midfielder Chris Michael with a through-ball. Michael chipped the keeper to put Queen’s up 1-0.

Lobo’s presence seemed to transform the Gaels, who struggled to find scoring opportunities in the first half.

“We felt we just needed a bit more pace,” Gencarelli said. “[Lobo] did a fantastic job at being available for a long pass option … and applying pressure on their backline.”

Maxwell made two incredible saves in the final five minutes to preserve the win. Queen’s now sits at 6-0-1, leading the OUA East with 19 points.

The Gaels start the second half of their season on a short week, with games at Carleton on Wednesday and at RMC on Saturday.

Zanette, midfielder Michael Campea, and forward Adrian Rochford were all forced out of action on Saturday, although Zanette did dress for Sunday’s game. They join striker Eric Koskins and midfielder Tommy Hong on the injured list.

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