Defender Fotis Tsafaridis throws a ball in Wednesday night at Varsity Stadium. Ryan Horne/Toronto Observer

Tough break for Varsity Blues men’s soccer team

Game is called at halftime due to lightning

Things were going well for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s soccer team Wednesday night.

Until the weather ruined it.

University of Toronto was up 1-0 at halftime over Trent University when a lightning storm hit the city causing the referees to call the rest of the game. The tough part for U of T is it will have to be re-played from the beginning at nil-nil.

Fourth-year senior Mario Kovacevic hoped they could get the game in, but said it could have been worse.

“Last year we went up to Peterborough and the game got rained out when we were winning,” said the native of Woodbridge, Ont. “So luckily this time they [Trent] have to drive back here.”

“We just have to show up and play them again.”

The Blues opened the scoring in the ninth minute when defender Devon Bowyer potted one far side on Trent goaltender David Ellis to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. It was his first goal of the season at the time, but will be nullified due to the game cancellation.

The replay has yet to be announced.

Head coach Anthony Capotosto saw both positives and negatives from the 45 minutes of gameplay.

“I thought when we get the ball into the attacking third we got a lot of players who are very creative and they show the qualities they have in those areas,” he said.

“Defensively, especially in transition, we got exposed too many times and that was the biggest flaw in the first half for me.”

This season can be looked at as a rebuilding year for the Varsity Blues with far more rookies than veterans on the squad.

“We are dealing with a very different dynamic from last year because we lost 12 players, so it’s a whole new crop of guys who have come in,” said Capotosto.

Kovacevic is now one of the older players on the team and knows their is more of a responsibility to be a leader.

“It’s been a process,” said the striker and mid-fielder. “I’ve had four years to grow into this role, so it’s just been a gradual process.”

Capotosto has coached the men for seven years now and is also in charge of the women’s team. They were able to get their game in at Varsity Stadium before the men played and blanked Trent 4-0.

Striker Brenda Murillo scored first in the 28th minute. Nicki Parkes and Aisha Lewis scored just three minutes apart late in the first half to give the Blues a 3-0 lead heading into the break. Claudia Piazza put the game away with an insurance goal early in the second half.

Toronto outshot the Excalibur’s 14-1 and improved their record to 2-2-1, good enough for fourth place in the OUA east division.

“We’re still trying to correct some things, but I thought overall we played a very good game, we dominated the game,” said Capotosto.

It’s a big season for the women’s side as U of T will be hosting the national championships in November.

Their next men’s game goes Sunday afternoon against the Ryerson Rams at Varsity Stadium. Game time is 1 p.m.

The women’s match will be followed by the men’s club who will play the Rams at 3:15 p.m.