MSOC | Voyageurs Blank Paladins, Tighten Grip on Playoffs

MSOC | Voyageurs Blank Paladins, Tighten Grip on Playoffs

A dominating performance against the RMC Paladins saw the Voyageurs through by a score of 4-0.

It did not take long for the Voyageurs to open scoring when, just fifteen minutes in, a slick backheel from Roman Lovrencec found Nick Esperanca who crossed it into the penalty box to Jacob Gramenga who would not make any mistake to put the ball at the back of the net and give Laurentian a one goal lead. Soon after the opening goal, Augustus Oku had found himself in a goal scoring opportunity but unfortunately was unable to convert. A few missed chances early in the game would not come back to haunt the Voyageurs as they were simply a reflection of their dominating style of play throughout the match.

Ten minutes after the first goal, one of the Voyageurs was fouled in the penalty area and the team was awarded a penalty kick. Nick Esperanca rose up to the occasion and very confidently deposited the ball at the back of the net for his first University (OUA) career goal. "Obviously, it's a big moment for me, first goal" said Nick Esperanca after scoring his first goal.

The second half began with a bang when, just twelve minutes in, Liam Ezzard rifled the ball past a wall of defenders and into the back of the net off of a free kick.  The Paladins then began to pick up their style of play and mounted a consistent offensive on the Voyageur defence but were unable to solve it. Equally important, the Voyageurs did not lose their focus and remained unfazed throughout the entirety of the match in order to secure a victory. Kristian Shuttleworth would add a fourth goal for the Voyageurs with an assist from Christopher Charlton in the 86th minute to seal the victory.

Optimism is high in the Voyageur locker room with respect to their playoff hopes. Nick Esperanca expressed the importance of their win against the Paladins, next match against the Toronto Varsity Blues and playoff hopes post-game by saying, "I think it was a big win for the team and just looking forward to next weekend. I think we have a good chance [to make the playoffs] for sure. Coming into next week against Toronto, I think it's going to be tough but I think we have a good chance of, we need some points and see and go from there."

Coach Castrechino was also quick to point the importance of this match. "Important 4-0 win today as we look to hold onto a playoff spot."

The Voyageurs currently occupy the sixth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and are only four points clear of the trailing UOIT Ridgebacks. Therefore, they control their own fate when they travel to Toronto and take on the Ryerson Rams and the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday and Sunday afternoon respectively to close out the season. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.


Wali Khan