Sports & Health Editor
After recently finding themselves ranked number one in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) national rankings, the Lions took to the field against the Brock Badgers. Other than being the returning CIS champions and one of the most high-calibre teams in years past, this new development gives the opposition more fuel to add to the fire of determination to win against York.
“We always try to play our game. Our game is to try and take as much area on the field, and have as much possession, and push the ball,” says second-year forward Alon Badat. “When we play our game, nobody can stop us. It’s what we try to do, game in and game out.” In this round, it was York who played the better game and walked away victorious with a 2–0 win.
In the beginning of the game the Lions were able to start spreading the ball around the soccer pitch. Because of this, the Lions split up the Brock Badgers’ defence and created some openings.
Seventeen minutes into the match, Badat had an impressive strike to the far side on a cut toward the net, but a nice diving save was made by the keeper. In the first half the Lions were able to exploit the middle openings.
Towards the end of the first half, the Brock Badgers offence started to support their keeper who was keeping them in the game. After a York free kick hit the Brock defending wall, Brock press York’s defence with runs down the field coming away with a couple of lob shots on goal, a corner kick, and a shot wide, leaving the score 0–0 at halftime.
Badat had opportunities to crack the scoreboard in the first half, but the team on the whole was not converting opportunities into goals against this hardworking Brock team. He admits that the problem lies in his team’s execution.
“We weren’t finishing our chances,” he says. “When we don’t finish our chances the other team starts to get motivated and think they have a chance to come back and score.”
The Lions began the second half much like the first. They opened up the field, using quick movements, pace, and key passes to set up opportunities with multiple shots on net at the game’s end by Jarek Whiteman, Branko Majstorovic, and Adrian Pena, who set up many plays.
Several minutes into the second half, the Lions cracked the scoreboard. Badat received a ground pass from the far side of the Brock net and snuck past several defenders across the goal to fire a low shot into the back of the net.
With the game almost over, York defence sent a long ball up the field. Badat ran past the defence and smashed the ball on a half-volley into the back of the Badger net, scoring his second goal of the game.
Although the Lions came away with the win, head coach Carmine Isacco feels that this is more of a team-building game. He is happy with the result but feels that they could have performed better overall.
“I think we need to get better at breaking people down,” he says. “The best thing we did was we found a way to break them down and finally hit the target. That is half the battle.”
The team is still building towards being ready for the post season. The next game is next Wednesday at York Stadium, September 14 at 3:15 p.m. against the UOIT Ridgebacks.