Photo by Valerie Wutti
If there were any worries that the Carleton Men’s Soccer team would play down to their opponent on Sunday at the Ravens Perch, the Ravens squashed those concerns early on in their 8-0 drubbing of Royal Military College.BOX SCORE
It was a sloppy opening five minutes for the home team. However, after Gabriel Bitar (Ottawa, Ont.) was fouled just outside the Paladin box in the fifteenth minute, it gave captain Emad Houache (Ottawa, Ont.) a chance to show off his free-kick skills. Houache brilliantly got the ball over the wall, off the crossbar, and into the back of the net to give the Ravens the lead. That was just the first of many for Carleton, and the goals only got prettier from there.
Striker Jeremy Aweya (Kanata, Ont.) was all over the ball in the first half, and his hard work finally paid off in the 30th minute. Aweya got on the end of a teammate’s through ball and was in on goal until he was abruptly fouled in the RMC box leading to a penalty for the Ravens. The striker took it himself and slotted it home easily for his second goal of the season.
Postgame, Carleton head coach Kwesi Loney had some positive things to say when asked about Aweya’s link-up play: “It’s been very helpful, particularly in the formation we play. It’s always good to have a striker who can hold the ball and combine with our midfielders. We’re still trying to work it out, but we thought he looked good again today, and he’s improving every game.”
Daniel Assaf (Ottawa, Ont.) scored to make it 3-nil Carleton in the 36th minute. The first half scoring didn’t stop there though, Raven veteran Dario Conte (Ottawa, Ont.) got in on the free-kick goals in the 43rd minute with what he said was “One of the best of my career.”
The second half was pretty routine for the team. On top of a goal from Luca Piccoli (Ottawa, Ont.), Gabriel Bitar (Ottawa, Ont.), Joseph Vinson (Lauderhill, FL) and Matteo De Brienne (Ottawa, Ont.) also added to the Ravens’ tally. De Brienne almost made it nine for Carleton near the end of the game, but his bicycle kick attempt just grazed the top of the crossbar and went over the net.
One standout Raven was right back Raphael Garcia (Ottawa, Ont.). He had his way with the Paladin backline of the right side of the pitch. He was instrumental in much of Carleton’s attacks in the first half, and after the game, he talked about how much he enjoys playing in an attacking system for the Ravens.
“I’m one of those defenders whose principal quality is going forward. I want to score goals; I want to assist. That’s the way I play. I’m thankful that the team gets me involved in that. Our playing style is just offence, trying to dominate, and I’m thankful our playing style fits with the way I play.”
It was a homegrown starting eleven for the Ravens as nine of the players that began the match are from Ottawa. Coach Loney praised the city’s soccer infrastructure for giving kids the support they need.
“For us, Ottawa does a great job producing young talent. We want the guys to understand that they don’t have to leave Ottawa to get to that next level. We can create something here for them, we commend the clubs here, it’s a great testament to the work that they’re doing, and if we can keep getting kids from Ottawa, it’s great for us to build that foundation.”
RMC didn’t manage a shot on target until the 73rd minute, and the shot came from just inside the Raven’s half, signifying just how dominant Carleton was. The Ravens have the week off next weekend but are back in action on October 15 against Ontario Tech.
The next Carleton men’s soccer home game is Sunday, October 17, at 2:00 p.m. as the Ravens look to continue their undefeated start to the year.