The rain seemed to clear just in time for the Laurier Golden Hawks men’s soccer team to take to the pitch against the York Lions.
Laurier is looking to carry over the momentum from their last game when they defeated the Waterloo Warriors 8-1 at home and Niklas Bauer scored his highlight- reel goal.
Early on in this one, the Lions had a break away but were turned aside when Laurier goalkeeper, Rocco Strazzella, charged the play and knocked the ball away.
Only a few minutes later, the Lions had what looked to be another break away but a Laurier defender stormed back and made a beautiful slide tackle in the box to knock the ball away.
At the 14-minute mark, Bauer threw the ball on net and managed to beat the goalkeeper, giving the Golden Hawks a 1-0 lead early.
At the 26th minute, York had a chance inside and Strazzella made an incredible diving save to keep the game at 1-0 in favour of the home side.
Just before the half at the 43rd minute, York managed to equalize and the teams would break at the half tied at one a piece.
To start the second half, the Golden Hawks came out flying with good ball control and Bauer was able to score his second of the game giving the Golden Hawks a 2-1 lead with 34 minutes left to play in the match.
At the 68th minute, the York Lions struck and were once again able to even up the score sheet tying the game at 2-2.
During the 81st minute, the Lions were applying pressure and managed to find the net giving the York lions a 3-2 lead with only nine minutes to play in the match.
Laurier did not give up and kept up lots of offensive pressure for the remainder of the game.
Two Laurier attackers were tackled just seconds apart and the crowd and Laurier coaches erupted from the sidelines for penalty shots, but none were awarded by the referee.
In the last few seconds of extra time, as the Laurier attackers were in the box pressing for a goal, one of the York defenders appeared to block a shot with his hand, but once again no call was made by the official.
The Laurier fans erupted once again and were clearly upset at the refereeing in the latter stages of the game.
Head coach, Mario Halapir, was not impressed by the refereeing in this game.
“Refereeing is a difficult position for sure, but when you make cowardly decisions and you make decisions that impact a bunch of boys that just worked their ass off for the last 95 minutes and it completely goes against the grain of what they’d done I’d say it was shocking. I’d call it beyond shocking,” he said.
Although the Golden Hawks were unable to find the equalizer and dropped this close contest 3-2, Halapir wasn’t unhappy with what he saw from his team.
“Exceptional,” he said, in reference to his team’s performance. “Exceptional in every sense of the word. Effort was great, compete was great.”
Halapir said his team was not fazed by playing the undefeated York Lions.
“We’re treating this year a little bit differently with the attitude and mentality we have. Any team that comes in here, we feel we’re going to be able to compete against and we’re going to be able to beat [them] … we’d like to be the one’s giving other teams problems,” he said.
The Golden Hawks will look to rebound their next game today, as they face the Guelph Gryphons in Guelph, followed by October 15, when they travel to Windsor to face the Lancers on their home turf.