This past Wednesday, September 26th, the UTM Eagles men’s soccer team were unable to ride the momentum from their previous win, falling 3-1 to the Sheridan Bruins in a tense but evenly matched game.
The first half was scoreless and uneventful. The Eagles mounted promising attacks from the back line through the midfield but fizzled out in the final third of the pitch. Sheridan came with high-pressured defensive tactics that the Eagles numbed with simple easy passing and physical ball control. The teams were in a stalemate but into the last fifteen minutes of the half, the pendulum swung in Sheridan’s favor and the Eagles defense led by their powerful centreback, Eric Halar, was put to the test. They held their line turning away the barrage of Bruins chances with admirable and well-organized defensive play that took the game into halftime.
Zimba Galloway and Sanjar Kalrosh were solid in the midfield controlling the centre of the pitch, forcing turnovers and moving the ball into dangerous offensive positions leading to many goal-scoring opportunities for their forwards.
Pawandeep Sandhu took a free kick from twenty yards out that bounced past the Bruins goalkeepers finger tips but just trickled by the outside post, while an offside call that erased an amazing header goal by Adam Czerkawski added to the growing frustration the Eagles faced. The captain, Aaron Peters, did not hang his head and was vocal in keeping his team together and ready to capitalize on the next chance.
The Eagles’ bad luck and missed opportunities came to haunt them early in the second half after an unconvincing defensive clearance found the feet of a Sheridan attacker and beat the otherwise stellar Peters for the match’s first goal. Sheridan scored their second goal from a penalty kick in the 67th minute and their final in the 80th minute to put the game on ice.
The UTM men avoided a shut out in the 85th with a beautiful low cross that found Daniel Koszela in the Sheridan box who buried it calmly while the student filled bleachers erupted. Though it was not enough to spark a comeback, this was a bright spot for a UTM Eagles team that worked hard and deserved a closer score line than the one they earned at full-time.