CORNWALL, PEI - The Sheridan Bruins men's soccer team (9-2-5 OCAA) were on the cusp of the national championship game, but an 88th minute Ahuntsic equalizer sent the game to penalty kicks where the RSEQ champions didn't miss to win the shootout 5-4 and the game 2-1.
"I'm gutted for the boys right now. They played their hearts out and, as a coach, that's really all you can ask for," head coach Andrew Seuradge said. "Ahuntsic is a really good side and I thought we both played well today. In the end the difference was so razor thin, but that's sports."
Ahuntsic pulled level through an Antonie Henry header, rising just above the Bruins' backline to link up with the free kick played from just outside the box. It capped an eventful second half where the Bruins scored early, and played the major with 10 men after Michael Krzeminksi was sent off just prior to the hour after seeing yellow twice.
Sheridan struck in the 48th minute, with Manuel Morgado winning a ball in the midfield and launching a perfect left-footed pass to release Rahim Thorpe down the left wing. Thorpe ran onto it and crossed it into the area where Francis Ameyaw volleyed it home.
The game was level at the interval thanks in large part to the play of goalkeeper Chester Ashby who made two dynamic saves in the span of three minutes late in the opening 45. First it was a free kick from 22-yards out that went over the wall and was dipping towards the top right corner before it was tipped against the crossbar before Ashby could gather it. Three minutes later a shot from distance was labelled for the top left corner but Ashby was able to push it wide.
The first quality chance that Ahuntsic had came in the 16th minute. As Sheridan defenders appealed for an offside, Henry was able to get a clean look at goal from 15 yards, but the Ashby was up to the early challenge.
Although their hopes of a national title are now gone, the Double Blue are still alive in the hunt for a bronze medal. The first step comes in a bronze semi final against PacWest runners-up, Langara. Seuradge says they will take the night to recover before beginning their preparations.
"We still have two games to play no matter what. As crushed as we all are right now, we want to give ourselves the best opportunity to play for a medal," he said. "We'll shake this one off tonight and then tomorrow it's business as usual and we prepare for Langara."