Time was running out for the Hawks men’s soccer team when they faced rival Sheridan Bruins.
But for rookie striker Luca Baldassare, penalty time was when he turned it on in the match Oct. 17 at the Oakville campus. He scored two goals in the 90th minute to seal a 3-2 victory, and the top spot in the Central Division.
The weather during the game emphasized the cold and bitter rivalry that exists between the two squads.
The referee issued 11 yellow cards throughout the game.
Nevertheless, the Hawks were able to maintain their composure despite the physicality of the rivalry.
“It was nice to be able to go through a battle, and show that we can be that grinding team as well,” said midfielder Jesse Assing.
The first half looked like a tennis match. The teams took turns moving the ball up and down the field, searching for the opening goal.
The Hawks were able to take the lead before the half thanks to rookie striker Sonan Askndar.
Head coach Michael Aquino tried to keep the Hawks focused on the end result during the half.
“It’s always an intense game between the two teams,” he said. “We reminded them to just settle down, keep your composure and it will come.”
The Bruins came out determined to start the second half. Within the first 30 minutes of the second half the Bruins scored two goals to take the lead, and the momentum.
There were some questionable calls against both sides near the end of the game, but the Hawks were persistent, knowing the division was on the line.
And then Baldassarre put his best foot forward, evening the score for Humber one minute into injury time.
Little time remained before the final whistle, but little did anyone know that Baldassarre wasn’t done yet. A minute later the ball found Baldassarre in the box, and once again he put it in the back of the net.
The Hawks were left with pure amazement, while the Bruins were left with sheer disappointment.
The questionable calls were at the centre of the Bruins disappointment.
“You can’t put in a tackle ‘cause you’re going to get a yellow,” said Bruins defender Ivica Sunjka. “It’s like playing with a red, it’s like playing with a man down.”
It’s the second time the Hawks defeated their top rivals and Humber won both games by one goal.
Humber scored less than their average 4.1 goals per game in both games against the Bruins. This victory gives Humber the most wins in OCAA men’s soccer with eight.
The Hawks have one game remaining before they aim for the provincial championship.
Humber also took their season finale game on Oct. 20 against George Brown by a score of 5-nil.