By Ali Amad
Humber North’s coed indoor soccer extramural team was only a penalty kick away from victory, but finished just wide in the final of the Winter extramural tournament hosted by UTM last Friday.
Humber had a strong presence in the eight-team intercollegiate tournament, with both Humber North and Lakeshore teams easily navigating the group stage to reach the knockout rounds. They faced off against each other in a hotly contested semi-final for the right to play Wilfred Laurier University-Brantford for the title.
Humber North would prevail after first year Business Management student Thier Nunguwenimana, also a varsity cross-country team member, scored the game-winner with under a minute left on the clock to break Humber Lakeshore’s hearts.
“It was tough luck,” said Humber Lakeshore coach Stephanie Raines.
“We lost in the semis which is unfortunate, but Humber North is a good team,” she said. “They’re our main rivals so I think we gave it our all.”
Nunguwenimana’s goal followed a momentary mental lapse by Lakeshore’s defenders that ended with the ball in the net.
“We just didn’t get there fast enough,” said second year Lakeshore player Mark Grzesowski. “It was missed communication and a really fast shot and that’s that.”
The deadly tandem of Nunguwenimana and Kate Vindis was particularly lethal for Humber North, as they combined for nine goals in the tournament.
“I think Thier’s awesome,” said third year University of Guelph-Humber student Vindis. “We worked well as a team out there and he kept hooking me up for shots.”
Vindis scored crucial goals three games in a row to take Humber to the final and she would save her best for last. Wilfred Laurier University-Brantford scored early on to take charge of the game until Vindis saw her opportunity.
Alone and unchallenged near the net, Vindis volleyed spectacularly into the top corner. It was a moment of brilliance the team desperately needed to take the game to extra time and penalties.
“I just did not think that was happening,” Vindis said.
A tense and nail-biting shootout saw Humber fail to convert on any of their attempts after Laurier scored with their very first attempt to hand them the victory.
Vindis was one of the unlucky penalty-takers, but says Humber had a good tournament overall.
“I feel like we all played really great as a team. Considering our last tournament, we (lost) in the semis so we’ve definitely improved,” said Vindis.
Both Humber teams had lots of positives to take from a tournament that made up for its lack of glamour with hard-fought intensity from teams that scraped tooth and nail to keep the ball.
Humber North coach José Caro, a fourth year Psychology student at University of Guelph-Humber and varsity soccer team member, praised his players and says they don’t get the recognition they deserve.
“People may say extramurals is not competitive but it is quite competitive,” he said.
“We practiced pretty hard and did a good job. We have a lot of talent for an extramurals team and I’m proud, I’m very proud of them,” Caro said.