Marauders dethrone OUA champions
Photo by: Murray McComb
Story by: Marcus Guido
The McMaster University Marauders men’s soccer team played to a 3-1 victory to claim OUA gold over last year’s champions, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, Sunday afternoon at Ravens’ Field.
The Varsity Blues looked to be the better squad early on, owning possession of the ball.
In the 10th minute, a pretty passing play around the 18 yard box led to a powerful Lawrence Buchan (Port Moody, B.C.) shot from 25 yards out that didn’t manage to trouble the Marauder keeper.
But McMaster would be the team to find the match’s first marker. Mark Reilly’s (Hamilton, Ont.) footwork at the left corner flag proved too much for his defender, Neil D’Silva (Mississauga, Ont.).
His saved shot led to a corner kick that found an unmarked Paterson Farrell (Oakville, Ont.), who calmly headed the ball to give his Marauders a one-goal advantage in the 20th minute.
The teams traded chances late in the half, and the lead could’ve been doubled in the 35th minute when Anthony Costa (Stoney Creek, Ont.) beat his marker on a run down the right wing. But his shot was easily handled by Toronto keeper John Smits (Mississauga, Ont.).
Two minutes later, the Varsity Blues Dylan Bams (Fanny Bay, B.C.) fought off a defender and chipped the ball over the Marauder keeper, but it was cleared away by Costa as it was about to cross goal line, ensuring McMaster would keep its advantage to start the next half.
The Marauders controlled the second half’s opening minutes, earning several chances off crosses that continued to find space.
But the Varsity Blues eventually adjusted and started to press for the equalizer. In the 58th minute, Mario Kovacevic (Woodbridge, Ont.) found space 25 yards out, only to have his blast of a shot hit the crossbar.
Just a minute later, McMaster successfully counterattacked. Brandon Gutierrez (Brampton, Ont.) was left open in the box, as he received a clean cross and made no mistake to extend the lead.
Toronto drew within one in the 69th minute, as another great shot from Kovacevic found the far right side of the net.
He then had a chance to equalize five minutes after. He took a shot after Geoffrey Borgmann (Mississauga, Ont.) was fouled just outside the box, but the McMaster keeper was just able to get his fingertips on a shot that looked to be surely headed for the bottom left corner.
The match’s last 10 minutes were dominated by Toronto until they gave up the game-sealing goal in the 90th minute.
Farrell had his second tally of the day when he won a ball from a Varsity Blues fullback and cleanly beat the keeper as he seemingly had all the time in world to place his shot.
The win gives the Marauders their second OUA championship in three years.
Though they edged out Toronto for gold, both squads will play for the CIS championship next weekend at Victoria.
Varsity Blues: 0+1=1
Marauders – Farrell (20th minute)
Marauders – Gutierrez (59th minute)
Varsity Blues – Kovacevic (69th minute)
Marauders – Farrell (90th minute)