Men’s soccer team winless on weekend

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s soccer team, brimming with optimism from their first win of the season last week against Guelph, was defeated on home turf Saturday against the Western Mustangs.
      
Despite matching their rivals from London stride for stride, the Golden Hawks fell to the Mustangs 1-0 on a late goal by Mark Pocrnic in the 84th minute.
      
“I think we were unfortunate more than anything else. It was an undeserved result,” said head coach Mario Halapir.
 
The Western game was a hard pill to swallow, but the resilient Hawks put it in the back of their minds for the following match against the red-hot Windsor Lancers on Sunday afternoon.

Riding high on a four-game winning streak, the Lancers’ goalkeeper Dan Mendonca had not allowed a goal in three straight games.

The task seemed daunting for the goal-starved Hawks, who had only scored six goals in seven games.
      
However, Andrew Sanzsole quickly put Mendoca’s shutout streak to a grinding halt. The hometown midfielder from Kitchener did what no other player could do against Windsor since
Sept. 20: score.

Sanzsole capitalized on a scramble in the Windsor goalmouth in the 33rd minute to give the Hawks the early lead.
 
That lead would stand until Michael Watson, the Lancers’ star midfielder, buried his fourth goal of the season in the 77th minute after he was left all alone in front of Jarrett Humphreys, Laurier’s first-year goalkeeper.

But that equalizer didn’t take the wind out of the Hawks’ sails, as Spencer Cawker scored just five minutes later to put the Hawks back on top.

With just two minutes remaining, a free kick was awarded to the Lancers after the Hawks were called for a foul, just one of many in the second half.
      
The Lancers’ Arlo Hemkes didn’t miss. From midfield, Hemkes drilled a laser beam into the top-right corner of the net over a sprawling Humphreys.
      
The Golden Hawks could only watch in disbelief as the ball hit the twine behind the stunned goalkeeper, tying the game at 2-2, the eventual final score.

“Unfortunately we can’t afford too many defensive breakdowns because we don’t score a lot of goals,” said Halapir.

“One breakdown cost us a game and today’s stupidity cost us…. We had opportunities to take it to this team, and finish them early and we didn’t and that’s strictly our fault.”
 
The shutout-breaker Sanzsole echoed his coach’s statements.

“It’s all mental, we’ve just got to play the full game … we have the skill but right now the mentality’s not there.”
      
The Hawks’ next test comes Thursday as they play the first of two games against the Waterloo Warriors at Alumni Field. The teams square off again on Friday at Columbia Ice Fields. 

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