By Mario Russo
A pair of goals from the boots of Abdallah El-Chanti and Luca Di Marco sank the ship of the Laurentian Voyageurs as the Rams men’s soccer team picked up a 4-0 win on Oct. 24 at Downsview Park.
Like the frigid weather outside, the contest between the Rams and Voyageurs saw a brisk bunch of opening minutes where both teams felt each other out.
As the game went on, the Rams’ offence slowly began to heat up, with the team’s three-headed monster of El-Chanti, Justin Santos, and Zakaria Abdi getting involved in the action.
“[Zakaria] Dots the eyes, [Santos] dribbles and takes players on and [El-Chanti] can do a little bit of both,” said Rams head coach Filip Prostran.
Prostran described the trio as “selfless” and said they “compliment each other well.”
The 18th minute saw the aforementioned three-headed monster roar to life and snap at the Voyageurs defenders.
A missed call from the referee not only caused an uproar from the Laurentian faithful, but led the ball to the foot of El-Chanti. The Rams’ leading scorer powdered the ball inside the left post to give his side the 1-0 lead.
The Rams are a perfect 6-0 this season when scoring the first goal of the match. Midfielder Sean Fafinski commented on the team’s consistency after the game.
“Once you get an early goal, you can see we’re a lot calmer,” said Fafinski. “If we go down, we try to come back and if we score first, we try to hold that lead.”
The second head of the Rams monster trio took a bite of his own at the Voyageurs armour, as Abdi rolled a pass to a charging Di Marco.
The second-year forward made quick work of the opportunity, firing one through the gloves of the diving goalkeeper to take a commanding two-goal lead.
El-Chanti and DiMarco would both register their second goals of the afternoon respectively to secure a 4-0 halftime lead.
The team’s leading goal scorer believes he’s much more “team-oriented” and is working toward “bringing the banner home” as the final stretch of the regular season comes to a close.
The pair of late goals before halftime would come just 60 seconds apart, marking the second straight week the Rams struck back-to-back during their games.
The two goal-scorers would be subbed off for the remainder of the contest, but the damage was already done.
Laurentian would show slight signs of life throughout the second half but was ultimately unable to string together any momentum as the Rams shut the door.
The Rams head into a pivotal series against the second-place McMaster Marauders. The two sides are separated by a pair of points, while the University of Toronto sits third in the table heading into the final week of the season.
“Whoever comes in front of us, we let the machine roll against them,” said Prostran.
UP NEXT: The Rams welcome the McMaster Marauders to Downsview Park for a rare Thursday night match. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.