Men's soccer battle through rough weekend games

Men’s soccer take just one of a possible six points against pair of Toronto teams

Gael Sam Abernathy (#2) battles the Ryerson Rams at Miklas-McCarney Field,
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Despite a bevy of early chances, men’s soccer picked up only one point and scored just one goal over two games this weekend. 

The Gaels fell to 0-1-2 on the season after they were shut out 3-0 by U of T’s Varsity Blues at their first home game, before tying with the Ryerson Rams 1-1. 

While the Gaels controlled the open stages of the match on Saturday, their early opportunities weren’t capitalized on before the Varsity Blues struck their first goal in the 10th minute. 

Goalkeeper Taylor Reynolds’ clearing attempt was intercepted by a Blues player, who slotted the ball into the net for the early lead. 

“We were lacking communication in the back, and that starts with me,” Reynolds said. “We had momentum at the beginning of the game and that goal swung it back against us.” 

The Blues added another goal in the 25th minute on a well-executed counter-attack off of a Gaels turnover to give them a 2-0 lead going into halftime.

They sealed the game in the late stages with their third goal on an unlucky play that found the ball just outside Reynolds’ reach.  

Both teams were visibly unhappy with the officiating, with frequent foul calls throughout. There were two yellow cards given during the game to Queen’s Jacob Schroeter in the 33rd minute, and the Blues’ Devon Bowyer just before the games conclusion in the 88th minute. 

The Gaels looked overmatched after the first goal was scored. They managed only two shots on target for the game, both coming in the first half while the game was still within reach. Their subpar effort was noted by their head coach Christian Hoefler. 

“It was a lack of focus. We didn’t do what we trained and we didn’t do what we planned,” said Hoefler. “This is the worst performance I’ve seen this side play.” 

He added that while the Blues were a solid, well-coached opponent, they did themselves in on Saturday afternoon. Hoefler stressed the need to come back strong on Sunday. 

Ryerson’s matchup was a different story, as Queen’s managed to strike first with a goal in the 62nd minute by forward Tonko Bacelic. While the Gaels  took their one-goal lead late into the contest, it was washed away by an 81st minute strike off a penalty kick from the Rams’ Raheem Rose. 

The kick was awarded due to a handball within the 18-yard box by Queen’s defender Keven Mastri, who was sent off with a red card for his action.

There was perhaps a silver lining in conceding the draw, as the Rams came into the matchup ranked eighth nationally. There were also three yellow cards handed out to Ryerson in the matchup, while Queen’s received one (along with Mastri’s red.)

Men’s soccer will cross the St. Lawrence River this Saturday to face off against the RMC Paladins at 3:15 p.m.

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