[photo credit: Rick Zazulak]
Halloween is here! A time for candy and worrying about people who dress up like clowns. Halloween’s coming also marks a time where we transition from field sports to the more fan-friendly indoor sports. Whether you’re a basketball fan, a volleyball fan, or just afraid of nature, there’s no better time to jump into the world of Marauder sports. Feeling like you’re not caught up? Nonsense! You’ve already completed your first step in becoming a fan by reading this article. So, get caught up and I’ll see you in the great indoors!
(Also, Halloween is tomorrow! If you want an appropriately themed article, feel free to replace every adjective with “spooky” as you read.)
Rollercoaster of Emotions for Men’s Soccer
The men’s soccer first-round playoff game was more stage production than sporting event. It was one of the most dramatic Marauder games of the year…but it didn’t start that way. Mac built up a 2-point lead going into halftime courtesy of goals from Yordan Stoyanov and Dusan Kovacevic. Not to be forgotten, Western’s Mustangs came out blazing in the second half, putting 2 in the net in just 6 minutes . With the game locked in a tie, things got a little indecent. The teams got 8 cards combined in the last 38 minutes of regulation. It came to a crescendo when McMaster’s Nicholas Matsos got caught in a shoving match with a Western player and both were ejected from the game. Down to 10 players each, neither team could score to end the game to regulation. Even after an additional 30-minute period, a winner could not be decided, as both teams scored one. So, to a penalty kick shootout we went. Finally, a winner (and a hero) were crowned as Matt Monteiro hit the decisive kick for Mac, ending the 3-hour marathon of soccer and moving the Marauders to the quarterfinals.
Unfortunately, quarterfinals meant a date with the undefeated number one-ranked York Lions on Sunday. The Marauders fell flat with a 4-1 loss that ended their season. The men finish the season with a record of 5-3-6, marking the 9th straight winning season for the men’s squad.
[photo credit: Rick Zazulak]
Small Error Ends Season for Women’s Soccer
The women’s soccer squad also played Western this weekend in a playoff quarterfinal. The game featured far less Hollywood moments than the men’s game, but was exciting nonetheless. Mac and Western were dead even throughout the match, conceding no room to each other. The shots came few and far between, with neither team able to grab momentum. Sadly, this game came down to one critical error by the Marauders. In the 66th minute, a Western player broke away free and was one-on-one with Mac goalie Juliana Hifawi, who committed a yellow card foul in her effort to stop the goal. This led to a free kick, which Western nailed for the lone score of the game. All told, the Marauders fell 1-0 in their final match of the season. The Marauders finish the year with a 7-5-2 record. This means back-to-back winning seasons for the women’s team, which is on the rise going into 2020.
[photo credit: Mike Marasco]
Men’s Basketball Splits Series with Lakehead
Mac Headed to Orillia to face-off with the Lakehead Thunderwolves (awesome name). It was a tale of two games as the teams split the series. The first game on Friday was an offensive shootout with a score of 110-108. The game came down to the wire and was ultimately decided by a few small factors. First, Lakehead out-rebounded Mac and was more effective from the free throw line. This turned out to be the crux of Lakehead’s victory. Still, Mac shot well from the field and Sefa Otcehre led the Marauders with 33 points from the 3-point range, including 4 of 6 from downtown. The defence also showed signs of life in the second half, shutting Lakehead down from deep (2 of 12 3pt). Ultimately, the surge in the second half wasn’t enough to keep Lakehead from walking away with the win. McMaster got a chance at redemption the following night, though, and redeem they did. Saturday’s game was the polar opposite of the offensive display from Friday. Both teams played stout defence and the score was held to 79-76, in favour of the Marauders this time. Once again, it was a few key things that led to victory. Mac forced 18 turnovers by Lakehead, which gave them crucial extra possessions. Mac also stepped up at the free throw line, including 8 makes from point guard Jordan Henry, who led the team this game with 29 points.
[photo credit: Rick Zazluak]
Women’ Basketball Begins National Title Defence Strong
The women’s team also played a back-to-back against the Thunderwolves (yup, still awesome) in the first move of their national title defence season. The first match, an 80-55 win for Mac, was pure domination. Lakehead’s only lead came midway through the first quarter, in which they went up by 6, but Mac took the lead with a 20-4 run to start the second quarter and never gave it back. The Marauders shot well from the field, but couldn’t find their rhythm with deep shooting, hitting just 17% of all shots. However, Mac benefited from a very weak shooting night from Lakehead, who hit only 29% of their shots overall. Saturday night produced a more dramatic finish. 67-65 was the final score, still a Marauder win, but not as clean-cut as it seemed on Friday. Mac struggled from the charity stripe, especially in the second half where they went 11 for 21. Luckily, Lakehead had another bad shooting night, which kept Mac in the game. The Marauders were able to grab key rebounds and make enough shots to pull out a win. However, against a tougher opponent, the little things turn into losses quickly. Something to note about this team that was apparent in the second game especially, is their great depth. Mac played 12 of their 14 players at some point across both games and it wasn’t easy to find a weak spot. Players played valuable minutes off the bench and performed very well. Starters are starters for a reason, but having a good bench is priceless in closely contested games. Christina Buttenham is my player of the weekend; she netted 32 points, shot over 50%, and snagged a dominant 19 rebounds across both games.
What to Watch
Not much eye-candy to take in for you Marauder lovers this week, but there are a couple of cool games that I would highly recommend going to. First, women’s basketball welcomes some international challengers on Sunday, with the Southern Connecticut State University Owls flying into town for an exhibition game. Second, the Marauders football team takes on rival Guelph in the Yates Cup semi-final this Saturday at 1pm. With a trip to the cup on the line, you’ll see nothing but the best football the OUA has to offer. This is one you really don’t want to miss.
Go support your Marauders!
GO MAC GO!
Duncan Simmons is the CFMU Sports Director and a 3rd year communications studies student from Vancouver, BC. He is the author of the Marauder Sports Roundup, released weekly on Wednesdays. Lover of all sports and all sports fans. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.