Monday, 12 September 2011

University Men: Queen's Gaels 3, Trent Excalibur 0

The second match of the afternoon was between the men's teams. Last year Queen's won both encounters by scores of 4-1 and 1-0. Once again, Queen's dominated the play in this encounter, as Trent did not seem quite as strong as the local squad.

For this game I was one of the assistant referees, working as AR1 on the team bench side of the field. In this role one of my duties was dealing with the substitutions and the benches (if necessary). Fortunately, in this game, both teams were well skilled with few fouls during the game, and there were few reasons for either bench to get upset with events on the field of play.

There were two injuries over the course of the game, both happening in the first half. The first was midfielder Jordan Brooks for Queen's, as he went down after a hard collision in the air and had to be taken from the field. The second was a Trent player (I could not tell who from my position) who went down hard on the far side of the field with a hip injury. Neither took any further part in the match.

The game was well contested with Queen's pressing for the entire first half, and Trent rarely getting deep into the Queen's end. In fact, I do not even recall a single stop that the Queen's GK, Dylan Maxwell, had to make in the first half. At the other end of the field, Trent's first year GK from Australia, Brent Bennett, made several fantastic stops, keeping the score level at 0 until late in the half.

The first goal of the game was scored in the 42nd minute as midfielder Nick Pateras from Queen's fired in a strange floated shot from the near sideline. Trent's GK stepped forward to make a play on it, then as he stepped backward to try to make the diving save, his foot slipped, and the ball was able to slip into the back of the net. Within two minutes, Queen's had doubled their lead as one of their strikers, Mac Ojiaku, turned his defender with a slick dribble and fired the ball into the back of the net from close range.

The second half was much of the same, but Queen's was not pressing as deeply. Their outside right half, Andrew Colosimo, kept moving the ball up the side of the field, pushing for a third goal. Interestingly, the third goal came shortly after Colosimo was substituted off, and came down the centre of the field as striker Peter Christidis was given a through ball. He battled with the last defender, and managed to break free several yards out from the penalty area. He finished with a lobbed ball, just out of reach of the GK, in the 65th minute.

The last few minutes of the game were a bit tense as both teams began fouling each other, but full time was blown with a 3-0 win by Queen's.

Much like their women's team, Trent's best men's player was likely their GK. He marshaled his defense very well and kept them organized, despite the constant pressure that they faced. He also made nine saves in the game, several at close range.

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