By Analia Sordi
On Saturday, the University of Guelph held a soccer tournament featuring two Guelph varsity teams, alumni and recruits. The Hawks, along with the Centennial Colts and Brock Badgers were invited.
Unlike traditional indoor soccer matches, this tournament consisted of only 25-minute games in comparison to the OCAA Indoor Soccer Regionals that have 40-minute matches that are split into two halves of 20-minutes each.
Despite the long day and short periods of gameplay, assistant coach Jason Mesa emphasized the importance of the Hawks’ presence at these types of tournaments.
“Tournaments like these allows players that didn’t get many opportunities in the Fall to show a little bit more and to build chemistry for when we have to go play regionals or provincials,” said Mesa.
The Hawks kicked off the tournament against the Brock Badgers, with a hard-fought win. The Badgers were resilient and the Hawks conceded two goals in their 3-2 victory.
After regrouping for the second match, the Hawks were able to tighten up defensively against Guelph’s recruits, earning Eugenio Garro, Humber’s goalkeeper his first clean sheet of the tournament. The Hawks managed to put one behind the goal to win their second consecutive match.
In the last match of the group stage, the Hawks took on the first tier of Guelph’s varsity team, defeating them 4-2 and qualifying for the semi-finals to take on the second tier of the Guelph varsity team.
It was a thriller of a semi-final, with the Hawks netting five goals to secure their spot in the finals. Once again, they would find themselves up against the first tier of Guelph’s varsity team.
The tension was high in the finals as Guelph’s first tier varsity sought revenge for their loss in the group stage match against the Hawks. There was nothing pretty about this match; both sides left everything they had out on the field, making it an aggressive and physical duel between the two strongest teams in the tournament.
The Hawks dominated possession but unlike their first match against this rival, they struggled to strike one past the goalkeeper early on. Bradley Fenton and Jaineil Hoilett were the saviors of the match eventually finding the back of the net to win 2-0 and secure the title.
While Guelph got to rest before the finals, the Hawks had to play back to back.
However, Humber’s team captain, Kingsley Boasiako thought not having a break gave his team an advantage.
“The shift is only 25 minutes so you are warmed up and fired up, while the other team is just kind of just chilling there,” said Boasiako.
The assistant coach was happy with the team’s ability to recognize their mistakes, fix them and the steady improvement of the team’s performance by the final match.
“It’s not just getting the result, it’s about how the team performs. In the semis and finals we were able to correct a couple of mistakes that we were making earlier on,” said Mesa.
The men’s indoor soccer team is two for two in invitational tournaments this season and they are the defending champions of the OCAA’s men’s indoor soccer tournament.