Written by Mason Bugaresti
Photo by Valerie Wutti
In a meeting between two teams in the top 5 of the U Sports men’s soccer rankings, the #2 Carleton Ravens dropped their first match of the season 2-0 at home to the #3 ranked York University Lions.
This was a high-intensity match right from the opening whistle, and tempers were running high in the early stages of the match. A hard challenge on Carleton defender Raphael Garcia (Ottawa, Ont.) drew no foul from the referee which sent the crowd at Raven’s perch into a stir. Minutes later, Garcia would eventually draw his yellow card as Lion’s midfielder Jon Alec Duenas (North York Ont.) pushed Garcia after a clean challenge from the Ravens defender.
Tensions were running high minutes later after a pair of hard tackles from Carleton led to a scrum between the two sides which the referees eventually separated. Ravens midfielder Luca Piccioli (Ottawa, Ont.) picked up the only yellow card on the play, which drew additional scrutiny on the officiating from the crowd.
In the 25th minute, York broke through off a scramble in the box coming off a set piece taken near the corner flag. The free ball in the box dropped to a York man who made no mistake and gave the Lions a 1-0 lead inside the opening half-hour.
Just before halftime, York forward Omar Marzouk (North York, Ont.) finished a nice one-two to extend the York lead from one to two. The Ravens had conceded their first goal at home in the opening half, and for the first time all season found themselves trailing 2-0 at the break.
The Ravens came out with a much stronger side in the second half than the one fans saw in the opening 45 minutes at Raven’s perch. Carleton had a series of corner kicks out of the halftime break. Scott Mazzotta (Ottawa, Ont.) had numerous chances for the Ravens, but the best chance of the night fell to Matteo de Brienne (Ottawa, Ont.) who had his deflection cleared off the line in the 73rd minute as Carleton was just inches away from cutting the lead in half before falling 2-0 at home to York.
Carleton Ravens head coach Kwesi Loney was satisfied with his team’s performance despite the men picking up their first loss of the season.
“We came out in the second half and created a lot of opportunities, some chances on target. In games like this it’s about taking your chances and we weren’t able to do that,” Loney said.
The Carleton Ravens take on the York Lions Sunday, Oct. 24 in Toronto at 3:00 p.m., a chance for Carleton to redeem Friday’s result.
“We’re gonna go over the film [Saturday] and learn from tonight’s match,” Loney added.
Carleton’s final home match of the 2021 season is a Halloween matchup with the Trent Excalibur at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 at Raven’s Perch. Come out and watch the men play their final home game before the U Sports Men’s National Championships come to Raven’s Perch in November.