Both the men’s and women’s indoor soccer teams are off to the OCAA Provincial Championships after a great showing at Regionals this week in Ancaster, Ont.
The men, who came in as the defending provincial champions, kept their impressive season rolling. Their first match against Conestoga College was one of their toughest of the season. It was a back and forth affair with the score at 2-2 late in the second half, but then veteran Robert Mijackovic changed it with a beautiful strike. The Huskies went on to beat the Condors 3-2 to open their tournament.
George Brown built off that momentum in the next match against St. Lawrence College. Striker Zuheib Mohamed led the way with two goals to push the Huskies through the Vikings 6-0. From there, the team dominated the rest of the way. Striker Ameer Kinani scored five goals in the next two matches to help the Huskies beat Laurier Brantford 4-0 and Redeemer College 2-0. George Brown finished first in Pool A with a 4-0 record while outscoring their opponents 15-2.
Heading into Provincials as the defending champions and only dropping two of 27 matches this season, head coach John Williams wants his team to play as a unit.
“Going into the championship, I am hoping as a team, we can continue to do the right thing and fight for each other. I need the guys to do whatever we need to be successful. I’m hoping that we can get a bounce here and there and with some luck end up in a medal game.”
The following day, the women got off to a great start at Regionals. Newcomer Bianca Oriani scored two goals in the opening half against Centennial College. One-off a nice tic-tac-toe play, while the other being a header with only a minute left to lead 2-0 at halftime. Kristen Sellino put the game out of reach scoring six minutes into the second half to take the opening match 3-0.
The next match against Sault College was very close. Running down the left side, Cynthia Pellegrino made a gorgeous move to gain a step on a defender, and that is all she needed for the opening goal four minutes into the match. George Brown went on to defeat Sault College 1-0 to clinch a spot at the OCAA Provincial Championships next week.
Head coach Leslie Fitzpatrick was very impressed with his team for various reasons.
“I was happy with the girls’ mentality and their desire to compete both individually and as a collective especially in the first two games,” Fitzpatrick explained. “Technically I think we had the advantage on our first two opponents, but if you don’t match their physical output, they can cause you a lot of problems. We were able to control both games because of this.”
The Huskies dropped their final match at Regionals 6-1 to St. Clair College to finish second in Pool B. With Provincials next week, Fitzpatrick wants the women to keep developing as a unit.
“Heading into Provincials, we need to continue putting in some work on our fitness and technical proficiency. But most of all we have to continue to be better with our decisiveness in the attacking third and our ball movement,” the coach said.
The OCAA Provincial Championships take place next week between March 13-14 at Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ont.