The Humber Hawks men’s soccer team four-year provincial title run came to an end on Oct. 25 as they fell to Algonquin College 1-0 in the finals.
Humber rolled into the season-end tournament with an undefeated record, ready to capture another title.
But first they had to get past Durham College in the semifinals.
Humber grabbed a 2-0 victory and secured their place in the finals.
Meanwhile, Algonquin mounted a comeback in its semifinal game against Sheridan College. Down 2-1 at halftime, Algonquin managed to score three goals, also securing their spot in the championship round.
The final game was set and the players knew this was going to be the biggest match of the season.
Hawks dominated possession in the first half and had some good chances. But Algonquin goalkeeper Simon Brown ensured there were going to be no goals for Humber, and the half finished scoreless.
Assistant coach Alex Sabatini said at the half that it was time for the Hawks to change their style of play.
“Playing the ball nice and short is good, but sometimes that longer ball, we’ve now put another player up top who can hold the ball very well, keeps the other backs (defenders) honest,” he said.
The second half saw the Hawks keep possession, and applying what the coaches said at the half.
Midfielder Kasra Dehdezi had the best chance in the half, heading the ball on goal after a free kick, but Brown’s good position and quick reflexes denied the goal.
So, for the first time this season, the Hawks were heading into extra time.
Midfielder Gerardo Magno, 21, said the Hawks just needed to continue the way they’re playing.
“Slow down the tempo, be relaxed, composed, use the wings and try to play through them cause they’re big guys,” said the child and youth worker student.
Fatigue wasn’t a concern for the Hawks at the start of extra time. The Hawks continued to play their way and kept possession. By the end, the Hawks outshot Algonquin seven to three.
But at the 105th minute, Algonquin forward Kishoylan Kipusi connected with a cross and found the back of the net, breaking the scoring deadlock and giving his team a huge advantage.
The Hawks kept fighting in the second half of extra time and had a great chance from substitute Le Rohne Young, but his shot fell into the graceful grasp of Brown.
The final whistle blew, and for the first time this season, the Hawks tasted defeat.
The coaches said after the match that the team should be proud of what they’ve accomplished this season.
The Hawks will walk away from this season as the OCAA West Division champions, and were named the OCAA West Division best defensive team.