The Humber Hawks men’s soccer team defeated Cambrian College 3-0 on Sunday, securing their spot in an OCAA semi-final match.
But the end score isn’t the whole story. The Hawks had to grind hard through the 90 minutes to finish on top.
“I think on paper, we’re the team that’s favoured to win,” Hawks head coach Michael Aquino said before the game. “The players have got to come out ready to play from the first minute.”
The game had a physical start. Both teams were able to get going early on, but Humber was first on the board. After a poor Cambrian clearing attempt off a Humber cross, the ball fell to forward Jevone Swaby who controlled it with his chest and smacked in a left-footed volley just eight minutes in.
Still, the Hawks didn’t look like themselves. Holding on to the ball too long created turnovers that allowed Cambrian to get ahead.
But after looking like they were going to give up a goal, the Hawks got their second at the 26th minute from defender Dominic Roberts. After a back-heel pass from Swaby, Roberts’ shot deflected in off a Cambrian defender.
At the half, the coaches didn’t like the Hawks “slow and sloppy” style of play.
“Our pass selection was poor,” said assistant coach Jason Mesa. “We were knocking the ball deep too many times, so we’re just asking them to keep the ball on the ground and look to attack through the wings,” he said.
Cambrian started off on the front foot but it was the Hawks who found the back of the net again.
At the 51st minute, Hawks midfielder Jesse Assing broke down the wing and swung in a cross that went past the defence and fell right to half-time substitute Sahjah Reid who tapped the ball in.
Even after that, Cambrian managed to find holes in the Hawks defence and was able to create more chances.
Tensions began to rise in the second half. Yellow cards were shown to both teams, and Reid saw a red card (for the use of foul language directed at an opposing player).
Despite being a man down, the Hawks managed to control the rest of the match.
Assing, 25, global business management student, admitted that it wasn’t the Hawks best performance, but said the win is all that matters.