by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
The Windsor Lancers men’s soccer team came away with one hard-earned point following a scoreless draw against the top-ranked York Lions but fell short 2-1 to the Guelph Gryphons early the next afternoon at Alumni Field.
The Lancers now hold a 3-4-2 record on the season and sit in sixth spot in the OUA west division facing the back half of their schedule.
Windsor head coach Steve Hart said his team had a bit of an emotional hangover from their showdown match underneath the lights against York the night before and never got their feet off the ground against the Gryphons.
“They were flat,” said Hart. “It’s hard sometimes when you’re playing in a game like that with so much emotion but they fought hard and they deserved more than a 0-0 tie to York. But give credit to Guelph, they were the fresher team and they played the day before just like we did.”
Against the Lions, Lancers goaltender Kyle Vizirakis kept the Lancers in the competition with a number of diving saves. Windsor out-shot the visitors 4-2 in the first 45 minutes but could not find the back of the net. In the second half, Windsor was held inside their half of the field for a majority and could not create any significant scoring opportunities.
Vizirakis and the Lancers defense are the only team to shut out the Lions this season and the first to hold them to a draw. Senior keeper said the team was pleased with their effort against the top-ranked team in the CIS.
“This league is all over the place this year and tying York is a good result,” said Vizirakis. “Moving forward though I feel like we can pull out some of these results and finish at the top of the table.
The next afternoon, Conor O’Callaghan put home a header 27 minutes into the game off a corner kick to give Guelph a 1-0 edge. The Lancers struggled to maintain possession in the midfield and in the 61st minute some poor ball clearance from Windsor led to Jalen Noronha putting the visitors up 2-0.
Windsor controlled possession and pushed the pace in the final 25 minutes but their efforts would be too little, too late. Iyowuna Jumbo scored his fourth goal of the season for Windsor on a penalty shot in the 90th minute, only to have full time expire a few moments later.
“We don’t really need to tell our boys what went wrong, we were tired,” said Hart. “It’s as simple as that. You can overthink it to the detriment of everybody but that is not what I’m after. The team is playing very well and I am way more pleased with the fact that we are so upset, it shows you that we care so much.”
The Lancers have played each team in their division at least once and with seven games remaining in their season, have ample opportunity to improve and secure an OUA playoff spot.
“The fact is that we can be better, but all told it is not bad at all,” said Hart. “We’ve got a few knocks and bruises, we’re limping a bit right now so we need to lick our wounds, straighten ourselves out and get ready for next weekend.”
Windsor will hit the road once again when they travel to St. Catharine’s to face the Brock Badgers Oct.1, before heading over to Hamilton to face the McMaster Marauders Oct. 2.