The Toronto Varsity Blues men’s soccer team defeated the Laurentian Voyageurs 1–0 last Friday, vaulting them up to second place in the Ontario University Athletics East Standings, and keeping them undefeated for this season. This win puts them even with Ryerson University with a game in hand, setting the stage for a rivalry showdown at Varsity Stadium on September 22.
Toronto controlled much of the possession in the first half, generating most of the scoring opportunities. In the eighth minute, a great play from Toronto in the box led to the ball just squeaking past the keeper, but it was cleared off the line by Laurentian defender Graeme McLean. In the 17th minute, Toronto midfielder Atchu Sivananthan forced a turnover from McLean, and made a brilliant pass into the box to fellow midfielder Gabriel Milo, who then hit the crossbar from a tight angle. The Blues didn’t stop pressing when an exceptional cross from Sivananthan led to a great opportunity for Jacob Maurutto-Robinson, whose header missed just wide of the goal.
The Blues offence finally broke through in the 23rd minute, when a free kick by defender Kenny Lioutas led to a header goal in the box by Atchu Sivananthan. More great passing from Sivananthan led to a great one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper for Artem Tesker, but Laurentian keeper Adam Scanlon dove out for the ball before Tesker could get the shot off. Laurentian started to get some chances going with their best coming near the end of the first half, but a chance in the box from midfielder Brandon Moxam went just over the net.
The second half saw the Blues play a more defensive style, congesting the box and not letting Laurentian get any quality scoring opportunities. Laurentian didn’t get any shots on the goal in the entire half. It was also much chippier than the first half, with Laurentian receiving two yellow cards, the first coming from Kristian Shuttleworth in the 71st minute, and the second coming from Nicholas Correa in the 84th minute. Laurentian’s final opportunity came with a throw-in in the final minutes, with the keeper coming down the field to help the offence, but they were unable to get a shot on the goal before the final whistle.
“I think we played well in terms of the attacking parts,” head coach Ilya Orlov said in a postgame interview. “The game plan was to go out and attack. We knew we were going to have possession most of the game, and obviously if you watch our game, our plan was to attack the wide areas and we were successful in getting the ball there.”