OUA Men's Soccer Championship: Toronto named 2010 champs in shoot out win

TORONTO - The University of Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the host York Lions 1-0 in a shootout on Sunday evening (Nov. 7) to win the OUA men’s soccer championship at York Stadium.

Toronto and York, who finished first in the OUA East and West divisions, respectively, were evenly matched throughout the game and a shootout was a fitting end.

Kicking the winning shot for the Varsity Blues was Darragh McGee (Donegal, Ireland) in the sixth round. Their goalkeeper, John Smits (Mississauga, Ont.) then stepped up and made a huge save on a shot by Carlos Noguiera (Brampton, Ont.) for the win.

The gold medal was sweet revenge for the Varsity Blues, who lost the championship final last year with a shootout loss to the McMaster Marauders.

Earlier in the day the bronze medal game also went to a shootout, with the Western Mustangs defeating the Ryerson Rams 3-2. With the victory, the Mustangs earned a berth in the CIS championships next week at the University of Toronto.

York and U of T earned their spots in the national tournament on Saturday with their semifinal victories.

Possession was even in the first half as both the Lions and Varsity Blues had multiple scoring chances, but for the most part were shut down by each other before either team could get close to the net.

The two teams had four corners apiece in the first half but none proved to be very dangerous.

The Lions had the best chance in the 37th minute. Selvin Lammie (Toronto) went into the box alone but was hauled down by McGee, who received a yellow card on the play, and the Lions were awarded a penalty kick. Striker Adrian Pena (Woodbridge, Ont.) took the shot and fired it to the right of Smits, who dove to his side to save the ball at the goal line.

The game played out in similar fashion in the second half and into overtime. Toronto and York traded opportunities but could not find the back of the net, and it wasn’t until the shootout when action really picked up.

Toronto’s Yannis Gianniotis (Toronto) made good on the first shot, but York’s Branko Majstorovic (Mississauga, Ont.) bounced his shot off the post to give the Varsity Blues the early lead. However, the Lions got back into it right away when Sotiri Varlokostas (Toronto) made a great save on Geoffrey Borgmann (Mississauga, Ont.).

Alon Badat (Thornhill, Ont.), Dominic Antonini (Winnipeg) and Daniel Fabrizi (Brampton, Ont.) all made good on their attempts for the Lions, while Ezequiel Lubocki (Winnipeg) and Alex Raphael (East York, Ont.) responded for the Varsity Blues. However, Nordo Gooden (Kingston, Jamaica) fired his shot well over the net, which gave Pena the opportunity to win it in the fifth round. He stepped up to the spot and tapped a weak shot into the corner, and Smits made the save.

In the earlier game, all five Western players scored in the shootout. Ryerson kept pace through the first two rounds, but in the third Jason Morgan (Brampton, Ont.) fired his shot over the crossbar. When the Mustangs’ fifth shooter, Vince Caminiti (London, Ont.), put the ball in the back of the net, it gave them the victory.

It was the second heartbreaking end for the Rams in two days. On Saturday afternoon, they were leading the Lions with just five minutes left but York scored two quick goals to steal the victory.

The game nearly didn’t get to a shootout as the Mustangs led 2-1 when the clock hit the 120th minute. However, Ryerson scored in the extra time of overtime when Markus Molder (Toronto) scored on a scramble in front of the net just before the final whistle.

Despite the second chance, the Rams could not finish off the storybook ending.
The Rams scored the first goal of the game in the 10th minute on a beautiful shot by Kevin Souter (Portsoy, Scotland). The ball bounced off a Western defender and straight to Souter near the top of the box, and he fired the ball past Mustangs’ goaltender Andrew Murdoch (Burlington, Ont.) for the early lead.

Western evened the score just before the half with a goal in the 40th minute. The team’s leading scorer in the regular season, Niko Mavrikos (Victoria, B.C.), put the ball behind Christian Maraldo (Mississauga, Ont.) after a nice pass from Pat Mroczek (St. Catharines, Ont.).

Undisciplined play cost the Rams in the second half with a pair of red cards to Adrian Mancini (Richmond Hill, Ont.) in the 60th minute and Souter just 18 minutes later, forcing them to play two men down. The Mustangs could not capitalize on the advantage, however, and the game went to overtime tied at one apiece.

The Mustangs got on the board first in the extra frame on a goal by Mroczek in the 100th minute.

Despite being two men down, the Rams had several offensive attacks in overtime. Vince D’Elia (Vaughan, Ont.) nearly scored in the 109th minute and five minutes later, the Rams had two point-blank opportunities but Murdoch made the saves.

The CIS championships begin on Thursday morning (Nov. 11) at Varsity Centre in Toronto. The complete schedule and participating teams will be announced on Monday
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