The No. 1 nationally-ranked York University Lions men's soccer team blanked the No. 2 McMaster Marauders by a score of 2-0 in front of nearly 3,000 fans on Thursday night (Sept. 10) in York's Frosh Frenzy game presented by Pizza Pizza.
The contest marked the first time since 2007 the top two teams in the country have faced off, and the win continued the Lions' dominance over OUA opponents, stretching their undefeated mark to 31 games dating back to Oct. 5, 2013. The Lions have also won the last six games against the rival Marauders, including in the OUA and CIS finals last year and both regular-season meetings this season.
The atmosphere was electric as the two team took the field, and they traded chances and possession early.
The Lions had the first good scoring opportunity in the 42nd minute when Jonathan Lao (Unionville, Ont.) sent a free kick from 30-yards out straight at the net, but McMaster goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo made a tremendous diving save to his right to keep the ball out.
A few minutes later, and just before halftime, the Lions finally broke the deadlock. Malcolm Loukides (East York, Ont.) carried the ball up the far side of the field and sent a beautiful pass into the middle of the box, where Joey Cicchillo (North York, Ont.) headed it out of the air and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second half, Matt Arnone (Woodbridge, Ont.) drew a penalty kick for the Lions when he was hauled down inside the box. Matt Stinson (Toronto) converted the kick into York's second goal for a 2-0 lead in the 59th minute.
The Marauders continued to pressure as they looked to get on the scoreboard, but Colm Vance (Bradford, Ont.) was equal to the task, making multiple solid saves to keep his team up by two.
With time winding down, Cavalluzzo made his second highlight-reel save of the contest on a point-blank shot by Jarek Whiteman (Brampton, Ont.). Minutes later the referee blew the final whistle to signal the end of the game.
The Lions outshot the Marauders 16-12 and had more success finding the net as Cavalluzzo was forced to make eight saves. Vance finished with four saves.
The Lions also dominated with eight corner kicks in the game, compared to zero for McMaster.
The Lions now have sole possession of top spot in the OUA West standings with a 3-0-1 record for 10 points, one clear of the Marauders. They will look to remain unbeaten on the year when they return to the pitch on Sunday (Sept. 13) to face the Guelph Gryphons in a match beginning at 3:15pm.
Source: York Lions