One of the George Brown Huskies indoor soccer teams advanced to the knock out stage at the OCAA Provincial Championships on Thursday. The men were able to clinch top spot in their pool, while the women came up just short at Redeemer College.
The men’s first round-robin match was a back-and-forth affair against St. Clair. They trailed three different times in the match, but thanks to Steve Knezevic scoring his second goal late in the second half, the Huskies tied their first match 3-3.
In a must-win scenario against UTM, the defending champions poured on the pressure. They fired over 10 shots towards the net, but went into the second half tied up at 0-0. The deadlock did not last long, though. Within the first minute of the second half, Zuheib Mohamed finished a beautiful give-and-go with Anas El-Bogi to open the scoring. Just a minute later, El-Bogi found the back of the net himself to double the Huskies lead. Mathew Da Silva recorded two goals, while Ameer Kinani another one to put the match out of reach at 5-0.
They made sure to clinch the top seed in Pool B in their final round-robin match against Sheridan. Da Silva tallied two of the team’s four goals to shutout the Bruins 4-0.
Overall, head coach John William was pleased with the team in round-robin play.
“I thought the guys took care of business. UTM was the big game for us, and they came out and played well offensively and defensively.”
The men will face Fanshawe College in the semi-finals on Friday morning. Coach Williams thinks if the Huskies play their style, they have a good chance of advancing to the finals.
“Fanshawe is a well-disciplined team. It is a good game for us because the boys have to be ready to play. They take their opportunities, so defensively I think we need to come out and stay discipline ourselves,” the coach said. “The key is, we must look after the ball and once we do that I think we have a chance of winning.”
The women had numerous close matches in round-robin play. In their first contest against St. Clair, the Huskies created numerous chances throughout the match. Unfortunately, the offence could not break through as they fell 1-0 to the Saints.
The match against Fanshawe was very similar. The team sides were deadlocked in a defensive battle the entire time. The Huskies were a few seconds away from picking up a valuable point, but the Falcons scored in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory.
The Huskies finished the tournament on the right foot. Kristen Stellino registered a pair of goals to push them past UTM 3-1. George Brown’s 1-0-2 record was not good enough to advance to the semi-finals.
Despite the Huskies coming up just short of the knock out stage, head coach Leslie Fitzpatrick believes the ladies played well but didn’t get the bounces they needed.
“We worked a lot on what we wanted to do positionally and taking away space from the better teams. In the first two games for 39 of the 40 minutes, we were successful at it, but we made costly mistakes,” coach Fitzpatrick explained. “It’s just unfortunate we did not get the results we wanted, but it was nice for them to end the season on a high note, get some goals and feel confident moving forward to next season.”