Defender Shaun MacDonald scored the lone goal to lead the York University Lions men’s soccer team to a 1-0 victory over the Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks in an Ontarion University Athletics (OUA) quarter final match at Esther Shiner Stadium on Sunday night.
The win moves the No. 1 nationally-ranked Lions into the OUA Final Four Championships, which they will host next weekend. The Golden Hawks have been eliminated from contention.
MacDonald’s marker came off a corner kick in injury time at the end of the first half. Striker Adrian Pena took the corner from the right side of Laurier goalkeeper Brett Harrington and fired the ball to the other side of the net and right to rookie midfielder Tyrone Downes, who pushed the ball back in front of the net, where MacDonald fired it home.
Harrington immediately argued with the referees that a foul had been committed in front of him, but the call stood.
The goal capped a solid first half from the Lions, who controlled the ball for most of the half and managed four shots on goal and six corners. They were only prevented from scoring sooner thanks to multiple tremendous saves by Harrington.
The second half was less eventful as the Lions tried to protect their lead amid a driving rain that fell all night. They did not get any good shots on net while the Golden Hawks recorded two, including one gorgeous shot from outside the box that York goalkeeper Sotiri Varlokostas had to hit over the net.
The Lions did a good job keeping the ball away from the Golden Hawks as time was winding down. Laurier had one final chance on a free kick from the right sideline on the last play of the game but the ball sailed harmlessly through the box.
Varlokostas made three saves for the win and recorded his 10th shutout of the season. Harrington also made three saves in the loss.
The Lions will next face the Carleton University Ravens in the OUA semifinals on Saturday, Nov.3, while the McMaster University Marauders and Queen’s Gaels will face off in the other semifinal. The time and location of the OUA Final Four Championships has yet to be determined.