Canada’s best tripped up by Marauders

McMasterThe McMaster Marauders brought their red-hot road form home with them, and used it to great effect on Friday night (Sept. 13). Paterson Farrell scored the game’s lone goal in the 51st minute as the Marauders posted a 1-0 victory over the nationally ranked No. 1 York Lions. The victory was McMaster’s third-consecutive win since opening the Ontario University Athletics men’s soccer campaign 1-1.

The Lions came into Friday’s contest at Ron Joyce Stadium with a spotless 4-0 record, having outscored their opposition 17-2. But the Marauders matched their visitors chance for chance, and fully deserved the final result.

Both teams emerged with an eye for goal as the game got underway, with a flurry of chances inside the opening 20 minutes. York held the possession advantage – as they would throughout the game – with McMaster countering effectively when the opportunity presented itself.

Play bogged down before the break, with the two teams unable to find a goal before the halftime whistle. But pace and invention returned to the pitch in the second, spurred in part by Farrell’s opening goal.

The Marauders broke free down the left side, and a flat cross found Farrell’s feet before the striker prodded an initial shot toward the York goal. Lions goalkeeper Sotiri Varlokostas saved, but spilled the rebound back to Farrell, who bundled in the second effort for what would stand as the winning counter.

The hosts had a glorious opportunity to double their advantage in the 67th minute, when Marco Gennaccaro found himself alone and on the end of a set piece, but the forward’s header sailed over the bar.

Both teams saw near-goals go begging before the final whistle, with the Lions finding the crossbar from long range in the 70th minute and being forced to clear off their line 10 minutes later. McMaster’s Karl Bicamumpaka put together a tremendous run to break into the penalty area in the closing minutes, but narrowly missed the far post with a sliding effort.

York piled on the pressure in search of a late equalizer, but McMaster remained disciplined in the back to see out an impressive home win. Angelo Cavalluzzo turned aside all of the nine shots he faced to record his first clean sheet of the season.

The Marauders put their winning streak on the line on Sunday (Sept. 15), when they welcome the Windsor Lancers (1-1-2) to Ron Joyce Stadium. The afternoon tilt is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.