The UTM varsity men’s and women’s indoor soccer teams had their regional soccer tournament this past Monday, March 5th. The teams travelled to London, Ontario where they each played three games.
The women played the first game of the day against the George Brown Huskies. The game started off well with both teams hungry for a win. UTM had a lot of shots but unfortunately none were finding the back of the net. Approaching the end of the first half, UTM was awarded a penalty shot where defender, Jayde Forde, buried it top-right corner. Unfortunately, two minutes after this, George Brown scored to tie up the game. The second-half did not start off as strong. UTM was not communicating and George Brown was pressing the UTM defense quite a bit. The beginning of the second-half was spent in the UTM end but the Eagles eventually broke out and began getting opportunities. Despite the opportunities from both sides, the game ended 1-1.
The men played the Laurier Brantford Golden Hawks for their first game of the day and had an outstanding performance. The men had several opportunities to score which they capitalized on. The first goal was a shot into the bottom corner by Jaimin Rehal, which was followed by a rebounded goal by Adam Czerkawski. UTM managed to score another goal on a pass across the box from Zimba Galloway, where Damian Koscielniak one-timed it into the net. The halftime score was 3-0 and the second-half resulted in three more UTM goals by Rehal and Czerkawski, as well as UTM rookie John Bayuk. UTM took the game 6-0—a successful start to their day.
The women’s second game was against the Fanshawe Falcons, which was their toughest opponent of the day. UTM was slow to start and the Falcons managed to score within the first two minutes. However, after this goal, UTM turned up the intensity and began pressing the Fanshawe defense. The women were communicating with one another, stringing together perfect passes, and were even creating more scoring chances than Fanshawe. It ended in a heartbreaking loss of 1-0, but this was described as one of the best games they played all season by coaches.
The men also played Fanshawe for their second game of the day, which was their toughest opponent as well. The men held up their own and went into the game ready to win. Both teams were very strong, which made for a fast-paced and aggressive match. With four minutes left in the game, Bayuk ultimately lead the men to be victorious once again with a 1-0 win.
The last game of the day for both the men and women was against the Sault College Cougars. To have a chance at advancing to Provincials, the women needed to beat the Cougars by six goals. Fatigue was a clear factor in the women’s performance this match. UTM scored their first goal with only eight minutes left in the half on a pass from Forde to midfielder Kristina De Andrade. Sault College came back after this and tied up the game 1-1. UTM only managed to score two more goals, both by Ruth Rivkin. Despite their 3-1 win, it was not enough to advance to Provincials. The UTM men’s team, on the other hand, clobbered the Cougars an astounding 18-0. The men placed first in their division and will compete at Provincials in two weeks’ time.