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Thursday, May. 24, 2018
L.U. soccer returns home empty-handed
by Randy Pascal

Laurentian University soccer coaches Carlo Castrechino and Rob Gallo knew they were in tough on the opening weekend of OUA action.

Turns out they were right.

Both the men and the women Voyageurs came away empty-handed in the GTA, facing double header action Saturday against the Ryerson Rams and Sunday opposite the University of Toronto Blues.

With Valley East native Josée Scott making the first start of her post-secondary career in net, the visiting L.U. crew failed to provide her with any offensive support, falling 1-0 to Ryerson.

Alessia Carvalho netted the only strike of the contest in the first minute of the second half, and Rams' keeper Brittney Clendenan would make it stand, finishing with four saves, one fewer than Scott.

The Laurentian men could not keep it quite as close, beaten 3-0 by Ryerson as the Rams solved Voyageur goaltender Connor Vande Weghe in the second half, drilling three goals past the St Benedict graduate in the final 42 minutes.

Kyle Stewart, Abdallah El-Chanti and Marko Miketic hit the mark for the homeside, with Ali Ghanzanfari recording just one official save for the shutout. Vande Weghe, for his part, was substantially more busy, facing ten shots in all.

Brianne Rodrigue picked up the only Laurentian goal of the weekend, knotting the contest at 1-1 after Nicki Parkes broke the ice for the Blues, but it was nowhere near enough scoring as U of T swamped the Voyageur women 4-1.

The Blues secured the lead in the 36th minute, courtesy of a shot from Christine Mulligan, and padded their advantage in the second half as both Julia Gonsalves and Parkes, with her second, were able to beat L.U. rookie Heather McGregor.

As for coach Castrechino and company, it might have felt a little like "Groundhog Day", the movie, as Laurentian dropped a 3-0 decision to Toronto. Nirun Sivananthan put the Blues on the board in the 36th minute, with Jack Wadden (58th) and Nikola Stakic (85th) following suit later on, with Vande Weghe adding another nine saves to his resume.

Mark Rogal earned the clean slate for U of T, making four stops in all, as the Laurentian teams attempt to regroup before travelling to Kingston on Labour Day weekend, meeting up with the Queen's Gaels on Saturday and the RMC Paladins 24 hours later.

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