by Brett Hedges
The Lance – Sports Editor
The Windsor Lancers men’s soccer team dropped their final two home games of the regular season over the weekend at Alumni Field and must battle two of the OUA West’s best to secure themselves in the upcoming conference playoffs.
The Windsor men were unable to secure points in either of their matches, falling to the Laurier Golden Hawks 3-1 on Friday night Oct. 21 before and faltering in a 4-1 loss to the Waterloo Warriors on Sunday afternoon Oct. 23.
Against Laurier, Carlos Soares got the Lancers on the board in the 15th minute to give Windsor a one goal lead at intermission before the Hawks strung together three unanswered goals in the second half to take the game 3-1. Two days later, Windsor once again took a one goal lead in the first half when Iyowuna Jumbo put the Lancers up 1-0 in the 31st minute. An early penalty pulled Waterloo even early in the second half and the Warriors would take advantage of some ill-timed Windsor miscues to earn a 4-1 win and an important three points from the Lancers as they approach the final weekend of the OUA regular season.
Lancers head coach Steve Hart said it was disappointing to see his team earn two halftime leads in both matches only to see them slip away in the final 45 minutes of regulation.
“It was all bad luck and individual errors … we were the much better team in my opinion,” explained Hart. “They played amazing in the first half. They went in, controlled the game and we led 1-0 at halftime [in both matches]. We gave up a penalty to start the second, same as [against Laurier]. We conceded on a penalty and their heads went down. We clear the ball – it hit a Waterloo player on the back and it looped in over Kyle [Vizirakis]’s head. Then two individual errors lead to two more goals on the break.”
The pair of losses currently plants Windsor in the sixth and final playoff spot with a 4-6-4 record and 16 points. The 3-9-2 Warriors have 11 points to their credit and have the potential to leapfrog the Lancers into sixth place should they beat the Algoma Thunderbirds twice on top of Windsor failing to earn at least one point against the first-place York Lions or second-place Guelph Gryphons in their final two games.
“We need to make sure we are ready for this weekend, we need to get ourselves organized and prepared,” said Hart. “We’re playing number one and number two … so we need to collectively regroup. Some of our players need to get their heads out of the clouds, knuckle down, be a team player and I think we’ll be fine. We have to get a point and hopefully Algoma can take one from Waterloo, that would help.”
Windsor travels to Toronto for a battle with the Lions Oct. 22 at 3:15 p.m. before heading over to Guelph for their regular season finale in a Sunday afternoon tilt, also scheduled for 3:15 p.m.