Photo by Valerie Wutti
OTTAWA – Carleton Ravens men’s soccer team welcomed a capacity crowd back to the Ravens’ Perch with an impressive 3-0 win over the Queen’s Gaels.BOX SCORE
In the long-awaited return for soccer fans, the Ravens wasted no time in providing fireworks. In the ninth minute of play, Carleton midfielder Scott Mazzotta (Ottawa, Ont.) finished a Ravens counterattack beautifully with a left-footed shot that hammered off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Mazzotta’s spectacular finish sent the Ravens’ Perch crowd into a frenzy as the capacity crowd celebrated the first goal that they had seen in over a year.
“It’s just surreal, you don’t realize how much you miss it until you’re back, and then once you’re back you have to make every best moment that you can out of it, and I think we did that today,” Mazzotta said post-game.
Carleton continued to put the pressure on in the first half, winning eight corner kicks in that time. They controlled most scoring chances and possession.
Ravens goalkeeper Kyle Potter (Ottawa, Ont.) made a dramatic save inside the box after a non-foul call that saw a great attacking opportunity come for Queen’s.
The rowdy energy from the crowd made its way onto the field as tempers started to flare towards the end of the first half. Two Queen’s players received yellow cards for aggressive tackles in the 10th minutes of the opening half, and the two sides briefly had to be separated by officials.
Queen’s pushed hard for an equalizing goal in the second half. After the 57th minute, Potter was once again called upon to make a fantastic save to preserve the Ravens lead. In the 80th minute down 1-0, Queen’s had a dangerous corner kick which nearly fell free to a player for a chance on goal, but Carleton’s defence was able to clear the threat away.
The momentum of the second half swung in Carleton’s favour in the 67th minute when Gabriel Bitar (Ottawa, Ont.) substituted into the match for Richard Comba (Ottawa, Ont.). Bitar did well to create chances and hold possession.
The Ravens would add an insurance goal in the 83rd minute off the foot of midfielder Emad Houache (Ottawa, Ont.). In the 90th minute defender Moses Kafeero (Ottawa, Ont.) finished a clever passing play and topped it off with a Christiano Ronaldo-like celebration that drew plenty of appreciation from the crowd.
After the game, Ravens head coach Kwesi Loney spoke about the impact that having fans back in the stands made on the match.
“[We] want to play for each other we want to play for our individual. But we said, we also want to play for the people that missed out on sport.”
Loney added that, “the guys did a great job representing our program.”
The Carleton Ravens men’s soccer team will face off against Queen’s again on Sunday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m. Their next home game at Ravens’ Perch is Sunday, October 3 where they will take on Royal Military College.