The undefeated York University Lions men’s soccer team took down the Western University Mustangs 3-0 in their Ontario University Athletics (OUA) quarter-final match at Alumni Field on Sunday, Oct. 30. With the win, the team advances to the Final Four Championships for the seventh straight year.
The first half of the match was highlighted by the defensive efforts of both the Lions and the Mustangs. York seemed to be carrying themselves with an attack mentality and did have some solid opportunities to light up the scoreboard. The aggressive offensive mentality was met with frequent walls of Mustang defenders in Western’s end.
Early in the second half, the Mustangs missed out on an easy chance to take the lead when a Mustang forward fired a pass past York goalkeeper Andrew D’Souza for a one-time attempt. The shot was stopped when a York defender kicked the ball away just before it crossed the goal line.
Part way through the second half the Lions received their closest chance yet to score when a loose ball rolled through Western’s box with both Milan Beader and Ryan Telfer sliding in to try and chip the ball past Western goalkeeper Kody Thomson. Both attempts fell just short, but Thomson would begin to feel the pressure.
The bend-but-don’t-break philosophy that Western played with in the match ultimately failed them in the final 13 minutes as the Lions would score all three of their goals in that time-span.
They finally broke the deadlock in the 77th minute when Thomson faltered by choosing not to attack a cross from York midfielder Steve Kloutsouniotis that led to a beautiful finish from Milan Beader as he kicked the hanging ball out of the air and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Beader didn’t stop there, as six minutes later he found the back of the net once again when Telfer chipped the ball to him in the box; he gained control off of his chest and slid the ball past Thomson off of his left foot.
The Lions would continue to pour it on offensively as Kloutsouniotis added a goal to his stat line. He showed off his ball control and touch when he chipped the ball over Thomson from the right side of the net to round out the scoring.
Next weekend’s OUA Final Four Championships will be hosted by the Ryerson Rams at Birchmount Stadium in Toronto, and for the third straight year, the Lions will face the Toronto Varsity Blues in the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 5.