On Wednesday, October 10th, the UTM Eagles men’s soccer team suffered an unfortunate loss at the Sheridan Bruins campus in a game that was UTMs to win early.
The first half of this game had a lot off attacking on either end of the field as both teams carved out space deep in each other’s halves. It was clear that the Eagles meant to force long high passes over the Bruins defense and into their strikers for quick breaks. Early connections across the width of the pitch between Shawn Faizi, Jamari Whyte, and Mark Barbuto gave the Eagles offense a good position in the final third but they didn’t have the spark of creativity to turn their incredible ball movement into goals.
Aaron Peters was as solid as ever keeping the game close after tense moments and showing the crowd his best impression of a sweeper keeper making incredible saves far off his line.
Around the 28th minute, Mark Barbuto chipped a ball from the left wing into an isolated Zimba Galloway down the centre of the pitch but he pulled the ball wide on his breakaway and couldn’t bring his team ahead.
Peters could only shut the door for so long before the Bruins found a way to break the stout Eagles back line with their relentless speed. The Eagles tactics were aggressive, and it back fired at the 33rd minute when a quick Bruins counter attacking aerial pass caught the Eagles defense far up-pitch leaving them unable to track back in time to clear a rebound, leading to the first Bruins goal.
The Eagles were resilient and had some fun playing tic-tac-toe with each other up the pitch showing off some skilled back heels and even a few “panna’s.”
A close offside goal couldn’t draw the score for the Eagles and it was clear they were close to putting one on the board. But the Bruins put any hopes of a comeback to bed with an unstoppable free kick that whipped into the box and deftly flicked into the net, making it 2-0 for the Sheridan Bruins.
After this goal, the Eagles could not gain a solid foothold in the game and let it run away from them in the second half. The game finished 7-0 for the Bruins.
The men played their final game of the season this past Sunday, October 14 in Sudbury against the Cambrian Golden Shields, where they dominated and advanced to the playoffs.