Soccer teams open October with undefeated weekend

The second half of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) soccer season began this weekend and the York University Lions men’s and women’s squads made sure it was a successful one. The two teams went 4-0 in games against the McMaster University Marauders and Brock University Badgers.

In the game against McMaster, both teams recorded 2-0 victories. Andrea Lombardo had a pair of goals for the No. 5-nationally ranked men while the women got goals from Ami Otaki and Samantha Gauthier. Both squads recorded two-goal wins over Brock the next day, with the men winning 2-0 once again and the women triumphant by a 3-1 score over the No. 7-ranked Badgers. Scoring the men’s goals were Franco Ruscetta and Philip Rivers, while Gauthier added to her goal count with another two and teammate Nicole Markowitz recorded the last goal.

The men (4-2-2) now move into third in the OUA West standings, one point behind the University of Windsor Lancers and two behind the leading Guelph University Gryphons. Brock University has not won since beating York in their first game. The women are now tied for second in the OUA West standings, having drawn even with Brock for points with a 5-1-2 record. They sit three behind the top-ranked Wilfrid Laurier.

In other action this past weekend, the York Lions football squad lost 45-27 to crosstown rivals the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the 40th annual Red & Blue Bowl as part of York’s 2009 Homecoming festivities.

Quarterback Nick Coutu had the best game of his career despite two interceptions. He finished the day with eight completions for 161 yards and rushed for another 76 yards on 10 carries. All three of his touchdown throws were to Johnny Peyton, who had his best day in a Lions uniform with four catches for 93 yards.

Right: Nick Coutu

For the first time this season, the Lions’ leading rusher was Myles Daly, who ran for 84 yards on nine carries. Jacob Appiah added 63 yards on 19 carries. The Lions’ other points came on a Jason Marshall 70-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the third quarter.

It was an exciting game for York’s 2009 Homecoming celebration and the weather held out long enough for everyone to enjoy themselves. It was pouring rain before the opening kickoff but the skies remained clear during the game and the sun even made an appearance. The crowd was filled with hundreds of people dressed in red and white cheering hard for their Lions. As part of the festivities a trip to Cancun was awarded at halftime, free T-shirts were given out and prizes were awarded throughout the game. 

Also part of Homecoming were two games between the York Lions women’s hockey team and the women’s Olympic hockey team of China. Team China, whose athletes will be representing the country in Vancouver next February at the 2010 Winter Olympics, won both games by scores of 4-1 and 6-2 but the experience was invaluable to the Lions as they prepare for the OUA regular season that begins this weekend.  

Other York Lions results from the weekend:

The women’s rugby team lost 32-5 to the Trent University Excalibur in Peterborough to fall to 1-3. Virginia Edwards had the lone try for York.

The women’s cross country team finished third at the Don Mills Cross Country Open in Waterloo thanks to a fifth-place finish by Kathryn Pistor and an 11th by Carol Graham. The men, sitting many of their key performers, finished eighth.

The men’s hockey team travelled to New York state for exhibition games against the Niagara University Purple Eagles and the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers and dropped both games by scores of 5-2 and 3-2, respectively.

The field hockey team tied McGill University 1-1 but got shut out by teams from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Guelph in Kingston.

The badminton team opened the 2009 season in Waterloo and lost 13-0 to last year’s silver-medal winning University of Waterloo Warriors.

The men’s volleyball team went 1-3 at the 2009 Leasebank tournament hosted by Ryerson University to finish fifth. The team’s lone victory was over Sherbrooke University in a thrilling five-setter.