The McMaster Marauders reclaimed the Ontario University Athletics men’s soccer crown Sunday (Nov. 6) with a 3-1 defeat of the Toronto Varsity Blues.
Toronto and McMaster met in the 2009 OUA gold-medal match when the Marauders defeated the Blues 1-0 in penalty kicks at Toronto’s Varsity Centre. The Blues, who were defending champions coming into Sunday’s game, won their title with a 1-0 victory in penalty kicks over the York Lions in 2010.
The Marauders controlled play throughout the first half and opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a goal from second-year striker Paterson Farrell (Oakville) off a corner kick.
Blues’ midfielder Dylan Bams had a solid chance to even the score just before the half. The Fanny Bay, B.C., native caught Marauders goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo (Hamilton) out of the net but defender Robert Scholosser came sprinting in to clear the ball out of harms way.
McMaster held a 1-0 lead after the first 45 minutes of action.
The Varsity Blues had trouble penetrating Marauders’ territory early in the second half until the 53rd minute when second-year midfielder Ezequiel Lubocki (Winnipeg) sent a shot just over the cross bar from 20 yards out to keep Cavalluzzo on his toes.
The Marauders extended their lead in the 59th minute as rookie midfielder Brandon Gutierrez (Brampton, Ont.) jumped on a rebound off the back post to put McMaster up 2-0.
Blues’ leading scorer Mario Kovacevic (Woodbridge, Ont.) cut the lead to one in the 67th minute, sending a shot from 12 yards out into the bottom right corner of the net off a corner kick opportunity.
Kovacevic almost evened the score in the 75th minute. After Geoffrey Borgmann was taken down, the Blues were awarded a free kick in front of the Marauders’ net. The second-year striker set the ball through traffic but Cavalluzzo dove to make the last-second stop and maintain the one-goal lead.
Toronto poured on the pressure in the final 10 minutes and despite a few corner kick opportunities, was not able to find the back again.
Farrell would add his second of the game in injury time and the final whistle blew in a 3-1 favour of the Marauders.
The two teams qualified for the 2011 CIS championship at the University of Victoria next week (Nov. 10-13) with their respective semi-final victories on Saturday.