Photo by: Brenden Cowan
On Friday Oct. 21, both Brock’s men’s and women’s soccer teams lined up against the York University Lions in their final home games of the season.
Both games began with ceremonies honoring the teams’ graduating seniors Emily Cirone, Emma Hendrie, Erica D’Alesio, and Cassidy Collicutt for the women and Stuart Loop, Sean Darracott, Victor Kariuki, Michael Fernandez and Michael Fernandez for the men. All the graduating seniors were presented with framed jerseys and bouquets.
The women’s team has thus far found themselves middle of the table in a competitive Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West Division. They entered the match with a record of 5 wins, 4 losses, and 2 ties, with their most recent games being a tight 1-0 win over Wilfrid Laurier University, and 0-0 and 1-1 ties against Guelph University.
York came into the game second in the division, boasting a 6-1-3 record.
York showed why they were one of Ontario’s top ranked teams early in the game. An early corner for the Lions got across to the far post, but the York player just got under the ball on their header and missed wide.
The pressure would heat up from there as York got to work on their press, keeping all the possession in Brock’s half.
Brock’s first real chance came seven minutes in, when Jenna Parris’ counterattack longball missed right. That first opportunity seemed to trigger something for the Badgers as their possession started to tick up.
Sabrina Bisante got a chance at the top of the box, but it was partially blocked and dribbled on net. Brock and York started to trade high quality counterattack opportunities, but all of them were broken up by the defence. The best of these came for York in the 19th minute when a long pass from the midfield almost got to the York striker for what would have been an easy goal, but goalkeeper Isabelle Newkirk came out to make an aggressive grab, colliding with the York player.
However, York’s pressure did not let up. A great ball and an even better run set up York’s first goal in the 22nd minute. Two minutes later, York would lift a close one just over the net, and follow it up by slamming one off the crossbar. Three minutes after that, York would collect their second of the night after a misplayed pass by Brock in their own box gave the Lions an easy look-on goal.
York’s pressure would continue to be relentless in a half that was marked by close calls, including another one off the bar. York finished the first half up 2-0 with a 4-2 edge in shots on target.
Except for a Badger’s free kick that deflected off a York defender and glanced off the post four minutes in, the second half would be much the same. York put up a number of rush opportunities that got very close, but were broken up by the defence, including two huge saves by Newkirk in the 53rd and 65th minutes. With four minutes left, York rang the crossbar a third time in the game.
In extra time, a controversial penalty call gave Brock their lone goal of the evening, courtesy of Cirone.
Brock lost their final match 2-1 with a 5-4 edge in shots on target
Brock’s men’s side had also found themselves in the middle of the table with a 4-3-4 record. After starting the season with four wins and a tie, the Badgers hadn’t picked up a win since, with three losses and three ties, their most recent game being a tie against Guelph.
York on the other hand, was one of the top two teams in the province. They entered the match undefeated, and their 9-0-1 record was second only to Ontario Tech, who play in the East Division. The Badgers had their work cut out for them.
Not much happened early on for either side besides York pressing hard against Brock, picking up right where the women left off.
York got close a few times, once off a free kick, twice off of corner kicks, and had one opportunity go off the crossbar.
Brock followed those up with a couple counterattack chances of their own. Tiago Pereira got a look in tight, but just missed over the net. Five minutes later, Pereira sent an excellent lead pass to Connor Carroll, but Carroll’s cross attempt couldn’t get through York’s defence.
With four minutes left, Fernandez had a free kick in an excellent position; close to York’s goal and right in the centre of the pitch, but his effort just snuck wide of the left post.
The first half ended 0-0. Though the pressure was mostly in Brock’s end, and despite the Badgers having some opportunistic chances, there were no shots on target for either side.
After almost getting scored on 30 seconds in on a scramble in their box, Brock and York continued trading opportunities.
Brock sent a well played ball in close in the 50th minute, but an aggressive play from York’s keeper kept it from reaching Brock’s attacker. York just missed wide on their counter in the 52nd minute and had what looked like a sure goal three minutes later. A bad turnover put York one-on-one with Taylor Miskolczi, but a slow shot allowed Kariuki to clear the ball near the goal line.
From there, the game would be mostly a midfield battle, with neither team getting serious opportunities. As a result, Brock drew the top-ranked York 0-0, facing all three of the game’s shots on target. The tie left Brock fifth in the West Division with a 4-3-5 record.
The first round of the OUA playoffs for both teams begins this Wednesday, Oct. 26. The full schedule and results for the men and the women can be found on the gobadgers.com pages.