Photo by Marc Lafleur
After a flying 5-0-0 start to the season and coming off a massive 7-1-win Friday night, the Carleton Ravens men’s soccer team faced their toughest challenge yet on Sunday afternoon as they dropped their first two points of the season in a 0-0 draw with the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.
From the start of the match onward, Ontario Tech played a high-pressing style putting pressure on Carleton defenders. Ontario Tech was a much-improved side from the one that lost 7-1 to Carleton not even 48 hours before Sunday’s match. Their aggressive attacking caused problems and miscommunications from Carleton’s defence, leading to multiple chances in the first half.
The Ridgebacks were strong from the opening whistle nearly scoring off a corner kick in the 11th minute, but Carleton goalkeeper Kyle Potter (Ottawa, Ont.) tipped the ball just over the crossbar to keep the score even.
In the 25th minute, a missed pass from the Carleton backline led to a breakaway on goal for Ridgebacks’ midfielder Quintyn Walcott (Bridgetown, Bar.) which required an unbelievable stop from Potter.
Right before the halftime whistle blew, Carleton got their best chance of the half. After drawing a yellow card minutes earlier, Raven’s midfielder Ricky Comba (Ottawa, Ont.) tried a bicycle kick that was blocked by the Ridgebacks defence. The spectacular attempt had the fans at Raven’s Perch on their feet applauding an otherwise cagey 0-0 first half from Carleton.
Partway through the second half, head coach Kwesi Loney made several substitutions that struck life back into the Carleton side that faced an unexpected challenge from Ontario Tech. After Loney subbed on forward Jeremy Aweya (Kanata, Ont.), the striker nearly drew a penalty after a foul inside the box that drew the ire of the home crowd.
Ontario Tech’s best chance of the afternoon came in the 70th minute after another mix-up from the Carleton defence. Goalkeeper Kyle Potter was caught out of his net with a free cage for Ontario Tech’s Justin Irwin (Pickering, Ont.) who put it wide of the net, a big let-off for the Ravens.
Carleton pushed hard for a late goal, and nearly got one through Gabriel Bitar in the 75th minute who had a chance fall to him in the box. Ridgebacks’ defender Jordan Melo (Mississauga, Ont.) stuck a leg out to deflect the shot wide, and secure a hard-earned 0-0 draw
“Hats off to them for what they did today,” coach Kwesi Loney said post-game. “You had to expect that they were gonna come out and fight, and they did just that.”
The Ravens’ next home game kicks off Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. live from the Raven’s Perch. Carleton will be taking on the second place York Lions in a top-of-the-table clash you will not want to miss.