Men’s soccer team makes history

Last Monday, the UTM Eagles tri-campus men’s indoor soccer beat St. George 3-1, winning the championship and marking the second time in the 2009-2010 season that the Eagles take a first place finish. The squad won back-to-back outdoor and indoor soccer championships, a feat never before accomplished in the history of UTM intramurals.
“Not only did we accomplish something that no other squad has managed in the past, but we also did it with style—losing only one game throughout the outdoor and indoor tri-campus seasons,” said team captain Jaime Gonzales.
The team suffered a setback at the beginning of the season, losing their starting goalkeeper to injury. But along with its dedication and resourcefulness, novice goalie Jason Nixon’s outfield skills, mixed with his new position in net, helped the team along the way.
“Finding a replacement goaltender and having players step up when key players suffered injuries were the main factors in our successful campaign,” said Gonzales. “I can only foresee better, bigger things for the program at UTM, especially if the talks of implementing a varsity soccer program at UTM are finalized.”
“We showed a lot of heart and determination in the final game,” said UTM player A. Trdina. “We didn’t let our heads fall when we were down 1-0; instead we rallied together and came back as a team to win it all.”
Team dedication was one of the most determining factors of the Eagles double-victory, as many of the squad members cited commitment to the team as the highest priority during the indoor season.
According to Waleed Malik, last year’s team was “better, but last year’s team didn’t win anything. (Coach) Omar chose players who are more dedicated and who work harder. We might not be the most talented, but we play with a lot of heart. We’re a tough team to play against and break down. I think a lot of our success at the tri-campus [level] can be attributed to that.”
“Going undefeated throughout the outdoor season and one loss indoor shows the consistency and strength of the squad we have, and the two championships solidifies that,” added teammate Neil D’Silva. “The team was built up of players who were willing to work hard, and coaches who could guide us in the right direction. The combination of the two builds a great platform for the future of UTM soccer.”
Although varsity teams such as the Varsity Blues exist in the U of T athletics department, UTM does not have its own team. The introduction of such a program would boost student athlete participation and interaction with the campus, peers and other members of the post-secondary community. For now, the Eagles’ record wins take center stage.
Despite allowing the first goal of the game to a hungry St. George team, the Eagles maintained their composure and finished the game with three unanswered goals. They put together the same effort that they’ve been demonstrating all
year long.