Second half changes work for soccer Marauders

The McMaster men’s soccer team, trailing by two goals, rallied to gain an important point by playing to a 2-2 draw with the visiting Guelph Gryphons in an Ontario University Athletics meeting on Sunday (Sept. 29).

Marauder Jeremy Watkin and his teammates rallied to tie Guelph on Sunday. (Photo: Fraser Caldwell)

The Marauders came out flat after their loss Friday at Windsor and Guelph attacked right from the start. The Gryphons had several good chances and it was only the work of Maroon keeper Angelo Cavalluzzo that kept Guelph off the board.

In the 26th minute, Guelph’s Rob Murphy lined up a free kick from the top of the box and his drive was saved by Cavalluzzo, only to have Tim Flynn head the ball off the crossbar and it went in off the keeper to give the Gryphons the 1-0 lead.

Guelph continued to put on the pressure and Flynn scored again, heading in a perfect cross to extend the lead to 2-0.

McMaster made some substitutions in the second half as coach Dino Perri was looking for some offense, down by two goals.

In the 70th minute, Nate Morris broke the ice as he corralled a loose ball off a corner kick and drove a shot into the left corner to half the margin.

With some momentum from the goal, the Marauders continued to push and were rewarded in the 84th minute when substitute striker Gersi Xhuti drilled home a goal almost identical to the strike from Morris to tie the game.

With Guelph now holding on, McMaster continued to press but could not take the lead before the final whistle.

The 6-2-2 Marauders now head to York on Saturday, Oct. 5 for a big game against the division leading 9-1 Lions.