Snakebitten Gaels finally break through

Scoring drought ends in win over Trent

The Gaels stand facing the flag for the Canadian anthem.
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The men’s soccer team got into the win column on the back of a smooth strike from midfielder Nick Alie Day, beating the Trent Excalibur 1-0 on Sunday.

The Gaels haven’t been able to buy a goal. They hadn’t scored in their three previous games. It took some magic to buck the trend.

Michael Chang took a pass in space and threaded a heat-seeking pass to Alie Day, who jerked to the right to get around a Trent defender before rifling a shot past the leaping goaltender.

This was the game they needed, finally getting rewarded for their high-test defence and strong possession stats. The relief of getting a win was palpable in the stadium, and judging by Alie Day’s exuberant sliding celebration, the players were happy about it too.

The team had been frustrated by its 0-0 tie with RMC on Saturday, in which they dominated the Paladins in every category except goals scored. They outshot their crosstown rival 11-1, and the ref didn’t often see penalties the same way the hollering Queen’s faithful did.

Chang was a revelation in the win. Zachary Toupin, Queen’s captain against RMC, wasn’t allowed to play Sunday due to a red card he received in injury time on Saturday. Head Coach Christian Hoefler tapped Chang to assume the role.

He didn’t disappoint. After looking out of sync at RMC, Chang delivered one of his best games of the season. His assist to Alie Day was only one of several skilled plays that left Trent players watching. 

Rookie goaltender Manuel Dirube made his first start for the Gaels, and despite not seeing much action throughout the game, he earned his shutout by making a crucial save in the dying moments of the game.

A Queen’s player was called for going over a Trent player’s back on a header 30 yards out from the Queen’s goal. The free kick was earmarked for the inside of the right post, but Dirube stretched out to make the save.

The Gaels look to continue their momentum with a strong showing against a talented Carleton squad at Richardson Stadium next Saturday at 3:15 p.m.

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