Low scoring, but still successful

Men’s soccer secures six points over the weekend

Over the weekend, Queen’s successfully set up attacks but was unable to finish on their chances.
Over the weekend, Queen’s successfully set up attacks but was unable to finish on their chances.
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A pair of weekend wins kept men’s soccer atop the OUA East.

On Saturday, the Gaels traveled to Peterborough to face the Trent Excalibur, where an early goal was all they needed for the win.

Chris Michael’s 11th-minute goal was the difference, as the Gaels defence held strong, with keeper Taylor Reynolds making five saves for the clean sheet.

On Sunday, a similar pattern emerged as the Gaels played host to the UOIT Ridgebacks. Queen’s took an early lead and effectively eliminated the Ridgebacks’ scoring opportunities.

Head coach Christian Hoefler said he was pleased with the men’s performance and noted that composure in front of the net will be a focus in practices for the Gaels this week.

“Plenty of chances, plenty of set piece opportunities, so based on those two games we need to touch up on finishing,” he said.

The Gaels executed plays well during both games, but couldn’t translate them onto the scoreboard.

“We are getting deliveries in, it’s just that extra focus to put it in the back of the net,” Hoefler said.

Midfielder Rohan Sarna tallied his first marker of the season two minutes into Sunday’s games. Queen’s handled the ball well for the rest of the match, but couldn’t capitalize on any other scoring opportunities.

In the 22nd minute, a UOIT misstep and some great battling in the corner led to a juicy opportunity in front of the net for Queen’s. Ridgebacks keeper Travis Martin stretched out and made the save.

Ten minutes later, a soft pass to Gaels defender Marco D’Elia was intercepted when he didn’t cut back to the ball. UOIT was unable to exploit the mistake.

From there, a series of on-point passes moved Queen’s into the offensive zone, but the men couldn’t convert on the corner kick.

Early in the second half, a UOIT corner kick bounced uncomfortably close to the Queen’s post for a moment before being booted away.

Throughout the second half, UOIT struggled to maintain possession after their goalie punted balls to midfield. Michael often broke up the Ridgebacks’ passes with physical play, sending the Gaels on the counterattack.

UOIT played passionately through the final stretch, working the ball through Queen’s end, but couldn’t create any significant scoring chances.

As time ran out, Sarna’s goal stood as the game’s only one. Reynolds recorded his second clean sheet of the weekend.

One-third of the way through the regular season, Queen’s is one point ahead of the Ryerson Rams for top spot in the OUA East.

The Gaels (5-0-1) will take on the Rams (5-0-0) Saturday before wrapping up the weekend with a visit to the Toronto Varsity Blues (2-2-1).

OUA East Men’s Soccer Standings

1. Queen’s (5-0-1) – 16 pts

2. Ryerson (5-0-0) – 15 pts

3. Carleton (3-1-3) – 12 pts

4. Toronto (2-2-1) – 7 pts

5. UOIT (1-1-2) – 5 pts

6. Nipissing (1-3-2) – 5 pts

7. Trent (1-3-1) – 4 pts

8. RMC (1-4-0) – 3 pts

9. Laurentian (0-4-2) – 2 pts

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