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HUSKIES FALL TO DURHAM ON BOTH SIDES OF HOME OPENER

Brianna Samuels-McLaughlin battles for ball with #5 Durham College

In the Women's Soccer home opener, the dying minutes of an evenly matched first half of play saw Durham open the scoring on what would be the first of three goals on the night from Lords forward Makayla Rudder. Durham paced much of the second half towards a 4-0 win over the Huskies.

Despite this final score, head coach Leslie Fitzpatrick sees great promise for his young team through strong performances in the middle from players such as Elisabeth Virelli and Kristina Anderson. "The final score line may have been a bit harsh based on the way we actually played, but it was a good teaching opportunity to illustrate how mental and technical mistakes can be punished when you're playing the top teams in the league."

With 16 of 18 rostered players under two years of post-secondary experience, it's part and parcel of the bumps that come with the rebuilding process. "It's really a case of throwing them [our recruits] right into the deep end and seeing how they fare. They are very capable of handling the responsibility and expectations, but they need to embrace it as they continue to raise the bar with their performances."

On the Men's side, George Brown saw itself up a man early when Durham Lords defender Aiden Donaldson was issued a red card in the 8th minute just outside of the Lords penalty area. George Brown was unable to convert on the ensuing free kick, but maintained most of the ball control from that point forward in the half.

Durham played a cautious defensive game however, packing the play and forcing the Huskies into a few costly turnovers that proved the difference in the game. Scoring a tap-in goal after a redirection off the goal post from a free kick in the 15th minute (Joshua Lee), and LeRohne Young getting behind the defense in the 39th minute on transition opportunity by the Lords.

The Huskies cut the lead in half on a nifty little lob goal over the goalkeeper's head from first-year forward Ameer Kinani just before the half. But unfortunately for the home squad, after a 1.5 hour weather delay due to a lightning storm in the area, per OCAA soccer regulations a completed game was called at half time by the match official.

Head coach John Williams is confident that his team will rebound from the shortened-game loss. "It was our first game, the team is still getting to know each other. We had a slow start but the pieces of the puzzle will quickly fall into place".

Both teams hit the road to face the Seneca Sting on Thursday September 19th. Women kick off at 6pm, men at 8:15pm. To watch on OCAA Live visit our Livestream page.