By: Tom Lewis
A resounding victory over local rivals Brock on Wednesday saw McMaster men’s soccer team continue their undefeated start to the 2014-15 OUA season.
The Marauders played through driving rain to complete a five-nil demolition of the St Catharines, Ont. team, drawing on a livewire performance from hat-trick hero Mark Reilly, who found himself back among the goals after a quiet start to the season.
Brock were simply outclassed at the Ron Joyce stadium, and looked off the pace as they failed to pose a concerted threat to Angelo Cavalluzzo’s goal.
Mac wasted no time stamping their authority on proceedings, with a slick exchange of passes outside the Brock box freeing Reilly to begin a dominant Marauders showing inside six minutes.
Reilly popped up again in the 28th minute, latching onto a Gersi Xhuti pass and turning his man to set up a composed finish.
The Badgers failed to register a single shot on target before the 32nd minute, as Marauders’ coach Dino Perri’s pressing tactics repeatedly frustrated the visitors.
The third goal nearly came moments later, as Nate Morris caught the Brock goalkeeper off his line with a shot that fizzed just inches wide of the right hand post.
Brock almost dragged themselves back into the match before half time, sending a looping shot onto the bar from a free kick and failing to capitalise on a misplaced Marauders’ pass at the back.
The away side began the second half brightly, swinging in several dangerous crosses, but all air of competition drained from the encounter as Mac’s Marco Gennacaro went clean through to tuck a sumptuous finish past the scrambling Brock keeper with 48 minutes played.
Brock were unable to cope with the Marauders’ attacking players as they continuously swapped positions, and their frustrations began to boil over as a Brock midfielder launched a foul mouthed tirade at number twelve Paterson Farrell for going down under a heavy challenge.
A convincing attacking performance from the Perri’s men was rounded off by two quick goals, one a penalty from Mark Reilly for his hat-trick on 88 minutes, and the other a cool 89th minute finish from Marco Gennacaro as he bagged a brace against a demotivated Brock defence.
“I feel like we finally started playing to our ability,” coach Dino Perri said after the game. “I hope that the performance will be an eye-opener for the team, having played so well in such poor conditions.”
Forward Mark Reilly said, “the hat-trick was great to get my confidence going again. We’re building our unity and starting to really come together as a team.”
On the blustery conditions, Reilly joked: “my background is Scottish, so playing in the rain was no problem for me.”
McMaster took the second game of the week over Waterloo, pouring in four goals in 15 minutes. At 3-0-2, Mac sits in fourth in the OUA West division with a game in hand over No. 1 York and No. 2 Guelph, and two games over No. 3 Western. Through five games, Mac conceded one goal and scored 13.
A key double-header this weekend at Laurier and Western will shake up the standings.