Monday September 24, 2001.
Standard: Win Gives Wolves Boost
by Winnipeg Fury
Win gives Wolves boost
Roma earns victory, tie; still holding out hope for fourth-place finish
(Carlo) Arghittu Lucio Ianiero has been telling St. Catharines Club Roma Wolves all season long they have the talent, experience and ability to be among the elite of the Canadian Professional Soccer League.
But for much of the season the Wolves have been inconsistent, struggling to put together the kind of season they had hoped for when they bid to host this year's playoff tournament.
Now, following an impressive 1-0 win over the powerful Ottawa Wizards Sunday before about 250 fans at Roma Park, perhaps Ianiero's message will finally sink in.
"I thought we were the better team," said Ianiero, who left the game during the second half with a pulled hamstring. "That's what I keep telling the boys -- we have the best team in the league and that's proof right there.
"Ottawa is walking away with the league, and we shut them down."
That's the good news for Roma. The bad news is that the Wolves tied Montreal Dynamite 1-1 Saturday at Roma Park in a game that had serious playoff implications.
With the win and tie on the weekend the Wolves are now 10-6-5 on the season. They currently sit in the fourth and final playoff spot with 35 points, five ahead of Montreal, but the Dynamite have three games in hand on the Wolves. St. Catharines has only one regular season game remaining, Friday Oct. 5 at Toronto Croatia.
Should the Wolves fail to make the playoffs, they would still have one final shot as a wild card who would challenge Montreal to a one-game playoff for the final spot in the playoff tournament. That tournament is set to go at Roma Oct. 12-14.
Should the Wolves qualify for the playoffs in that manner -- and it's beginning to appear that's exactly what might happen -- it would mean playing games on three consecutive days.
"That's physically taxing on the body," Ianiero said. "We're all older now, and it takes effect, that's for sure."
Ianiero said the club is still holding out faint hope they won't have to go that route, but they'd need Montreal to go into slump.
"We're still trying to catch Montreal," he said. "They still have to play Ottawa in Ottawa and play the Olympians and we have to hope they drop points there."
Before the season-ending tournament, the Wolves will participate in the Cup playoffs next weekend in Ottawa. They'll square off against the Wizards in one of two semifinal games Saturday with the finals set for Sunday at noon. Roma dropped a 2-1 decision to the Wizards earlier in the year at Ottawa.
"At their home it's a little different, that's for sure," Ianiero said. "They saw what we can do. They came to scout us Saturday and that speaks volumes. I think they were a little worried about us."
After a scoreless first half, the Wolves finally broke the deadlock when Carlo Arghittu beat Ottawa goalkeeper Richard Goddard following a perfect pass from Sam Borgh.
Keith Moore and Andrew Weiring, who both started the season with the Wizards, had strong games for Roma against their former club.
Saturday, the Wolves received a goal from Gary McGuchan while Bruno Nue replied for Montreal.
Roma had a glorious chance to win with a penalty kick late in the game but Joe Carbonara's shot went over the net.
Wolves 1 Wizards 0
Standard Star of the Game: Roma forward Keith Moore.
For the Wolves: Carlo Arghittu. Shutout by Dino Perri.
For the Wizards: No scoring.
Yellow cards: Moore and John Sozio for Roma, Volkan Agar for Ottawa.
Saturday: Roma tied Montreal 1-1. Gary McGuchan scored for the Wolves.
Up next: Roma take on Ottawa Saturday in a semifinal Cup game in Ottawa at 3 p.m. Toronto Supra meet Toronto Olympians in the other semfinal at 5 p.m. The final goes Sunday.
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