Wednesday, 26 October 2011

University Men: Queen's Gaels 1, Laurentian Voyageurs 1

It was a cold and miserable afternoon out at the new north field at Richardson Stadium on the Queen's West Campus. The temperature was hovering around 5 degrees Celcius, and a light rain was drizzling. The Laurentian Voyageurs men were down for a playoff game just three days after their last visit against the Queen's Gaels, the two teams ranked fifth and fourth in the OUA East respectively.

The Gaels took to the field in their full gold uniforms, while Laurentian lined up in dark blues. Queen's lined up in a classic 4-4-2 line up with Dylan Maxwell in goal, Adrian Rochford, David Tom, Joseph Zupo, and Matt Kenny across the back (from left to right). Jordan Brooks, the Queen's captain, Henry Bloemen, Pat Zanetti, and Andrew Colosimo played in a flat four midfield, and Peter Christidis and Eric Koskins lining up as the strikers.

Laurentian countered with a change to the 4-4-2 lineup they had presented in Sunday's match against Queen's. They lined up with a 4-1-4-1 formation. Matt George started in goal for them, with Patrick Smoke, Cameron Brooks, Brian Kavaratzis, and Andrew Posteraro playing across the back. Daniel O'Connor played just in front of the defense, and in a midfield diamond, Stephen Fattore, Liam Dougherty in the back and Davor Alisic in front of him. On the right side of the midfield was Laurentian's captain, James Bond. Up front was Dieri Drame acting as a lone striker.

Laurentian kicked off the game defending the north end of the field. The first ten minutes were very tentative by both teams as they tried to get a feel for their opponents. Queen's got their first corner in the 12th minute of play. Christidis put the ball across and Zanetti got up and headed the ball at the net past Laurentian's goalkeeper. One of the defenders blocked the ball on the line and an outcry of "handball" went up. The referee indicated that it had been played by the player's shoulder. Minutes later, Laurentian took a long throw deep in the Queen's end and a header from Alisic hit the top of the crossbar.

The game continued as such until the 30th minute when Queen's made a tactical shift, pushing Jordan Brooks into Christidis' position, Christidis back to right midfield, and Colosimo made the switch from the right side of the midfield to the left. The shift almost paid dividends immediately as Colosimo fed a ball through to Brooks. He carried the ball down the line, cut inside and fired a low and hard shot in on goal. George made a diving save and got his hand on the ball at full stretch putting the ball out for a corner. Queen's carried the rest of the play for the remainder of the first half, but were unable to put the ball into the back of the net, and the score stood at 0-0 at the half.

The second half began without any substitutions being made by either team. Almost immediately off of the kickoff, Christidis put the ball through to Koskins, who broke in past Posteraro and in on the Laurentian goal. George came out quickly to challenge, but slipped. Koskins tried to chip the ball over him, but George was able to get his hand on the ball to keep it out of the goal. Several minutes later, Christidis broke through the defense on the left side of the goal, but a poor touch let the ball roll through to the goalkeeper. As George went for the ball, he slipped and seemed to pull his groin. He was in enough pain that the medical staff had to attend to him. After a couple of minutes, he was able to continue, but had Poesteraro take his goal kicks for him for the rest of the half.

In the 65th minute, the first caution of the game was shown to Laurentian's Patrick Smoke for his late tackle to take down Pat Zanetti. Eight minutes later, Bond took a long free kick for Laurentian. A crowd jumped up for the ball and someone from Laurentian got their head on it, putting it toward the bottom corner of the net. Maxwell threw his hand out and palmed the ball up into the air and off of the crossbar, and it as quickly cleared out for a corner kick by Zupo. The ensuing corner went out for a goal kick and Queen's made the first substitution of the game, bringing on Nathan Klemencic for Andrew Colosimo. The sub did not have the effect that Queen's coach Chris Gencarelli was hoping for as Laurentian got the ball almost immediately and put it down the left wing, crossed it to Davor Alisic, and Alisic was able to poke the ball through Maxwell to give Laurentian a 1-0 lead in the 69th minute.

Queen's stepped up their game after the goal and pushed down the left wing where Bond took down Christidis earning himself a caution in the 75th minute. Christidis took the ensuing free kick which was half cleared out to David Tom. Tom hit the ball toward the net and the assistant referee on the far side of the field signalled for a foul and the referee blew his whistle, indicating a penalty kick. Laurentian's defender Smoke had handled the ball and was shown his second caution of the game and dismissed from the field of play. I asked the referee after the game why he made the call and he noted that it was a tactical foul to save a goal scoring opportunity and felt that he could not let the play go. Christidis stepped up to take the penalty. He chipped it softly down the middle as the goalkeeper dove hard to his right, giving Queen's the tying goal.

Laurentian made a substitution immediately after the goal, bringing off Stephen Fattore from the midfield and bringing on defender Cam Coulter to replace Smoke at left back. Even though they played the rest of the game down a man, Laurentian played well enough that Queen's never appeared to have the man advantage. Regardless, Queen's held almost all of the pressure for the rest of the game, giving up few chances, and getting several of their own.

The last few minutes of the second half produced a flurry of cautions, the first to Laurentian's Posteraro for a hard bodycheck on Jordan Brooks at the sideline near midfield in the 42nd minute. A minute later Eric Koskins was cautioned for sliding into the Laurentian goalkeeper. The final caution was given to Matt Kenny for a hipcheck thrown at Laurentian's Alisic. The half ended with the score 1-1, and another thirty minutes of soccer were on the cards.

Queen's made their second substitution in the 3rd minute bringing Colosimo back onto the field and removing Koskins. This was likely done due to Koskins challenging the Laurentian goalkeeper and getting a warning from the referee about the situation. The best chance of the first period of extra time came on a low shot from Christidis that was saved and put just wide for yet another corner. Queen's tallied an astounding twenty-three corners in the match, while Laurentian only managed four. The second half of extra time featured more of the same, and two more substitutions were made, one by each team. Laurentian brought Fattore back onto the pitch and took Dieri Drame off in the second last minute, and within a minute, Queen's had returned to their original starting eleven, as Koskins replaced Klemencic.

At the end of play, Queen's had taken nineteen shots at the Laurentian goal, and Laurentian had managed fourteen against Queen's. Laurentian managed no shots or corners in extra time at all, only getting out of their own half two or three times. Interestingly, both teams only used one bench player: Laurentian made two substitutions while Queen's used three. Each team had a full bench to work with, so the fact that so few were used was a bit surprising.

It was now time for kicks from the mark to decide a winner.

A third coin toss was done and Queen's won, choosing to shoot first. Henry Bloemen stepped up for the first kick and put it low to the right, just inside the post. Matt George dove the right way and got his hand on it, but the ball went in to give Queen's a 1-0 lead. Cameron Brooks took Laurentian's first, putting it high to the right. Dylan Maxwell got a hand on it, but it was too powerful and snuck under the bar to even things up at 1-1. Pat Zanetti took his straight down the middle as George down to the left. 2-1 Queen's. James Bond tied it up at 2-2 putting it to the left as Dylan slid the wrong way. Joseph Zupo put a hard kick toward the left post. George got his hands on it, but put it off the post and into the net for a 3-2 lead. Davor Alisic shot high and left and Maxwell was unable to reach it as the score was tied at 3-3. Peter Christidis took his, firing a hard shot to the top left corner as the keeper went the wrong way, giving Queen's a 4-3 lead. Daniel O'Connor stepped up and put his shot well over the bar, missing the net. Jordan Brooks stepped up needing to score to win the game. He took his shot well, but George got both hands on the ball making the save to give Laurentian a lifeline. Stephen Fattore took that lifeline and belted a shot inside the left post as Maxwell went the wrong way.

It was onto sudden death as both teams were tied 4-4 after the initial five kicks. Eric Koskins took the sixth for Queen's, putting it down to the right. George dove the right way but could not reach the ball and it struck the outside of the post, going wide. Liam Dougherty took Laurentian's kick and put it low just to the left. Maxwell went the right way and it hit him popping up into the air. He turned to grab the ball, but stopped when he saw that it had gone just over the line. After the game, he noted that it had gone between his legs and he just couldn't react in time to keep it in front of the line. Laurentian had won the game.

They won't know who they'll play until the result of the Trent and Ryerson game being played tomorrow night at St. Michael's Field in Toronto.

The Queen's women will take to the pitch on Sunday afternoon at 1pm against Carleton. Carleton defeated the Laurentian women by a 5-0 scoreline up in Ottawa this afternoon. In Toronto, the University of Toronto defeated Ryerson 3-0. The University of Toronto Blues will travel to Ottawa to play the Gee Gees at 1pm.

1 comment:

  1. I had a comment made to me in person that this entry lacked some personal commentary. So, going on my recollection of my personal thoughts during and after the game, I present...

    Personal commentary: "It's cold."
    Followup: "Holy crap, it's cold!"
    Further followup: "Why was i so stupid to do this?"
    Final followup: "Dammit, I can't read the notes because my pages are too wet."