The men’s soccer team reached the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs for the third consecutive year, and, for the third consecutive year, they failed to make it to the national championship tournament.This year, it was the Waterloo Warriors that eliminated the Badgers by a score of 1-0. Like most soccer games, the OUA Quarter Final featured about 75 minutes of ball control at mid-field and very few actual scoring chances. Unfortunately for the Badgers, the few scoring chances that they did create were quickly stopped by the Warriors’ superb defensive play.
Unlike Brock who has had difficulty scoring all year, Waterloo needed just 12 minutes to beat Badger goalie Michael Folino. The goal came as a result of a defensive breakdown that allowed a Warrior forward to head the ball past a sprawling Folino. The goal gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead and that is all they would need en route to a 1-0 win and a date in the OUA Semi-finals versus the Laurentian Voyageurs.
Brock should be commended for their effort however. Waterloo came into this weekend’s game with a better record, had scored more goals, and was ranked seventh in the nation. The game probably shouldn’t have even been as close as it was. The Warriors are averaging 2.3 goals per game this year compared to Brock’s 0.9 goals per game. Add to that the notion that Waterloo played in a much tougher division (Laurier is ranked second in the nation and Western was ranked in the top 10 for much of the season) and still managed a record of 7-3-0. What is even more disappointing is the fact that the Badgers will lose several key players. Forward Michael Edwards, goalkeeper Michael Folino, and All-Star defencemen Steve Sevor are all unlikely to return to the Badgers for the 2002 season. This group of veterans was basically the core of the team and Brock will be hard pressed to replace such a talented group of players.
The Badgers finished the 2001 season with a record of 4-5-2.