By: Mason Bugaresti
The Carleton Ravens men’s soccer team is moving on in the 2022 OUA playoffs after winning their first playoff game 2-0 over the Queen’s Gaels in front of a packed TAAG Park.
The Ravens brought the pressure to the Gaels early in this one. Mohamed Bouzidi (Ottawa, Ont.) had a great chance in the opening stages of the match to put the Ravens in front, but he just pulled his shot wide. Chris Malekos (St-Hyppolyte, Que.) found a loose ball minutes later in the Queen’s box and made a diving swipe at the ball, but it clanked off the crossbar and out. Despite holding the ball for most of the first half, the Gaels and Ravens went into halftime tied 0-0.
Carleton came out flying in the second half just as they did in the first. Just two minutes into the half, Mohamed Bouzidi made up for his earlier miss scoring a header off a Carleton free kick. Just over 10 minutes later, the ball dropped to Carleton’s Scott Mazzotta (Ottawa, Ont.) who fired a first-time shot past the keeper to give Carleton a 2-0 lead.
“I just saw that Raph [Garcia] made his run to the outside so that’s my cue to go to the middle. The ball came to me, and I hit it on the volley,” Mazzotta said post-game.
The Ravens kept hold of possession while leading by two, allowing them to run out the clock on the Gaels. Queen’s began sending defenders forward in the 70th minute, but there was little opportunity for the Gaels to find any space. It was a relatively comfortable day for Carleton keeper Tyler David (Hawkesbury, Ont.) who made just one save to earn the clean sheet.
“It was great to see us really keep our composure in this one, and really limit the chances from the opposition,” Carleton head coach Kwesi Loney said after the match.
With the win, the Ravens advance to the OUA quarterfinals where they will take on the TMU Bold in Toronto, Ont. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29.
“The next two days are about recovery,” Loney said.
“We can enjoy this win tonight, but it’s right back to a work-mentality starting tomorrow.”