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Wednesday, Apr. 25, 2018
Two more big wins for L.U. soccer men
by Randy Pascal

Laurentian Voyageurs men's soccer coach Carlo Castrechino has made no bones about the need for his team to play much better defence in order to enjoy a degree of success in 2016.

The fact that his team has done just that, while still accumulating goals at a rate not seen in any recent year, has been nothing short of a pleasant revelation for the long-time LU soccer man.

"With our formation, we are still able to attack with four or five players when we possess the ball," explained Castrechino, as his team racked up two more key home field wins on the weekend.

"Our wing play has really taken advantage of opposing fullbacks, and we have created a lot of pressure in the other team's end, generating offensive chances for us." After scoring just 16 goals in all of 2015, the L.U. lads equalled that mark on Sunday with a 1-0 win over the UOIT Ridgebacks, after thumping the Trent Excalibur 6-2 just one day earlier.

The net result is a 4-3-0 record that leaves the Voyageurs holding down fourth place in the OUA East Division, with nine games still remaining on the docket in which the team can add significantly to their offensive output.

"Our newcomers have really stepped up this year," noted Castrechino. "We have more depth and quality." Central to that statement has been the play of holding midfielder Nico Correa, blessed with an engine that just never stops.

"Nico has been absolutely lights out," added Castrechino. "He plays hard, from one 18 yard box to the other." Other rookies who have rapidly made their presence felt include both Jamaal Joseph and Aaron DeSousa, while the interior backline tandem of Nick Franke and Zach Gallo also drew praise from the coach.

"They've done a nice job of clogging up the middle of the field, winning a lot of 50/50 balls," said Castrechino. The Voyageurs received two goals apiece from both Liam Ezzard and Matthew Wilkes against Trent, with solo tallies off the feet of Dean Pizolinas and Zef Kraja.

Ezzard picked up his third of the weekend facing the Ridgebacks, with Connor Vande Weghe making it stand with his second shutout of the fall. Just a single game on the docket this weekend, as Laurentian travels to Ottawa to face the second place Carleton Ravens (5-1-1).

"This will be a test for us," admitted Castrechino. "We're shooting for a home playoff game, so we will need to take points off teams like Carleton, Queen's and Toronto." Laurentian will be without the services of striker Mackenzie Kropa, likely lost for the season with a knee (MCL) injury.

This will be the first of five straight road games covering the next three weekends, before the L.U. lads close out the schedule with four consecutive home games, beginning October 15th and 16th against Carleton and Toronto.

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