Despite fairly even play, Western’s strikers proved to be the difference, as they launched Western to victory in the 70th minute.
The first half saw the teams deadlocked, as each side controlled the ball for an even amount of time. As the game progressed, the ball remained primarily in neutral territory with only one major scoring chance — when Western striker Michel Daoust was narrowly stopped by the Paladins keeper 10 feet away from the goal.
“I thought the game was pretty much 50-50,” said RMC head coach Victor Mendes. “Western’s in the top ten in the country, so today was a great test of our ability.”
The second half was played at an entirely different level, with both sides exchanging a number of scoring opportunities. The greatest of these chances occurred when Western striker Jason DeThomasis received an inbound ball near center field and carried it through three sprawling defenders directly into the RMC crease. Though the opposing keeper was able to get ahead of the ball and block it, the ball ricocheted directly into the path of midfielder Dante Biscaro, from where he easily netted a 40-footer.
Though DeThomasis remained modest about his efforts, teammates and opponents alike highlighted his great play leading to the deciding mark.
“It was a garbage goal that was made possible by [DeThomasis],” Biscaro said.
Even RMC players acknowledged DeThomasis’ spectacular form on the play that set up the game-winner.
“The striker’s moves were simply impressive,” remarked the RMC keeper.
Biscaro’s goal proved the difference, and Western went on to win for the first time this season.
After the game, Western coach Rock Basacco thought his team was sufficiently challenged.
“The game was a good test against an improved team over last year,” Basacco said. He added that though his team could have been better, he was more than happy to notch his first win of the season.
Next Sunday, Western looks to improve its record of 1-0-1 against the Waterloo Warriors. The Warriors suffered a tight 4-3 loss to the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Sunday. This weekend’s game starts at 3 p.m. in Waterloo.