Men’s soccer survives battle
Trevor Schein wrapped an ice pack around his knee and soldiered on to the dressing room.
And even with the Hawk’s clipped talon, the defender could claim to be in better health than most of his soccer brethren, who barely escaped their tilt with the McMaster Marauders.
An amazing accomplishment considering Schein was the unwilling participant in the majority of the game’s tumultuous spasms, as Alumni Field quickly transformed into a warzone during Sunday afternoon’s 2-2 draw.
“It was expected,” a battle-hardened Schein stated after the game. “Even the first time we played them, it was rough.”
Schein was pushed, tripped, fallen on and even swatted at, during a tough day at the office for the second-year business major.
It started out innocently enough as these spats do.
“The guy that [pushed me]; I play with him during the summer, so we’re good buddies,” said Schein. “He apologized right away, I know he didn’t mean anything by it, but still, it was dirty.”
That “guy” would be Kyle Grootenboer, the friendly-faced yet menacing captain on the other side of the minefield who potted both his Marauders’ tallies for the day.
“You take what you can get,” said Grootenboer of his first strike off a midfield shocker that beat a stunned Hawks keeper, Martyn Hooker. “I just let ‘er loose.”
Schein’s day was far from over, after his mate sent him for a tumble.
Marauders’ midfielder Aaron Boothe took flight to attempt a header down the left wing, missed the ball and fell squarely on Schein, whose teammate had seen enough from McMaster’s number nine.
The Marauders’ pest that had walked the line all game long had just stepped over it in the eyes of Laurier’s first goal-getter Chris Walker (Ben Clifford had the other), with his reckless body slam onto Schein.
With that, the simmering volcano of tension between the teams finally erupted and together, Walker and Schein got into an escalated swiping match with Boothe and McMaster’s Omar Nakeeb.
The spat produced nothing of serious consequence save for an all-too-late yellow card for Boothe, whose transgressions were just some of many missed calls in the eyes of Hawks’ head coach Mario Halapir.
“The refereeing was absolutely shocking today,” said the coach of the official’s decision to keep his whistle at his side. “Guys could have gotten hurt.”
“Today, he just lost control,” said Schein of the referee. “He didn’t hand out yellow cards at the beginning when he should have… He waited too long and things got a bit out of hand.”
Incoming fourth-year defender Matt Smith, coming off a knee injury that’s kept him out of action the whole season, picked the wrong day to make his cautious return.
Smith had to tip-toe the battle-field in his limited minutes and could have been excused had he chosen to sit this skirmish out.
“He’s a guy that our team misses more than anybody else. He loves the game, he’s a competitor. I was happy he got his feet wet,” said Halapir.
With just two games remaining until the playoffs, both McMaster and Laurier are neck and neck in the standings at third and fourth in the West division respectively.
Should the two teams clash in the playoffs, it may be wise to have a few extra ice packs handy in case the ride turns turbulent for the third and final time this season.