NORTH YORK, Ont. - The Sheridan Bruins men's soccer team (8-1-5 OCAA) put forward a valiant effort, but came up short in their attempt to claim the provinicial title, falling 2-1 to Humber in the OCAA Championship Game.
"I'm proud of what we accomplished, but more so how we never gave up," head coach Andrew Seuradge said. "We played some quality opponents this weekend and under some extreme conditions. You could see towards the end of the game today that our guys had given everything they had. As a coach, that's really all you can ask for."
Like their two regular season meetings, the two sides spent much of the game with the score level. Humber broke a 1-1 tie on the hour, after a failed Sheridan clearance kept the Bruins pinned in their own end. Cody Green played a back-post cross from 30-yards out and Nicholas Machado got a head on it.
Tomasz Balicki also headed home the opener for Humber in the 19th minute, after Janeil Hoilett lofted a cross to him at the back post where he was unmarked. Richard Ameyaw equalized for the Bruins in the 33rd minute, taking a pass from Christian Lopac at the top of the box and blasting it through a pair of defenders and into the top of the net.
Humber had chances to add to their tally, but the combination of goalkeeper Chester Ashby - who came off his line to stiffle a semi-break from Hoilett - and Jesse Bibby - who twice volleyed clearances off the line - kept the Double Blue within range.
Although the defeat ended their unbeaten run and dashed their provincial title hopes, the season is not done for the Bruins. They will be a wildcard participant in the CCAA National Championship hosted by Holland in Charlottetown, PEI from Nov. 7-10. Although they don't yet know their quarter-final match-up they do know they will be in a pod with the PacWest, RSEQ, and ACAA champions.
Seuradge says the team will take some time to re-group from the loss before they begin their preparations.
"I think we need to reflect a little bit on this season and this weekend, and then in a couple of days put it behind us," he said. "Every season we have the same three goals: win our division, win the OCAA, and win the national championship. We fell agonizingly short of those first two, but we're still in the game for the last one."
Blue notes: The silver medal finish snapped a three-year medal drought for the Bruins, who had not claimed one since winning national gold in 2014. They had medalled in six out of seven seasons when that streak ended.