CORNWALL, PEI - It was not the colour they had in mind when they departed for the national championship, but the Sheridan Bruins men's soccer team (11-2-5 OCAA) will head home with a medal after rallying from an early 2-0 deficit by scoring six unanswered goals to down Capilano 6-2 in the CCAA Bronze Medal game.
"I'm proud of the effort and the grit we showed," head coach Andrew Seuradge said. "Winning bronze in this format is extremely difficult. We had a crushing loss in the semi final and had only 18 hours before we were back on the pitch playing another game. To have the perseverance to keep battling back - from a loss on penalties, from then being tied while four-men down, from then being down 2-0 inside of 20 minutes today - it says a lot about the resolve of our guys."
Capilano scored twice in the span of three minutes to take a 2-0 lead before the game had reached the 20-minute mark. The first came after a failed clearance following a corner kick, and with the ball still sitting inside the Bruins' 18-yard box, eventually Andres Romo was able to slide it home. Elijah De Los Santos made the initial save on CCAA Player of the Keith Jackson three minutes later, but Jeremy Monn-Djasngar was there to bury the rebound.
The Double Blue pulled one back in the 26th minute, with a failed Capilano clearance allowing Francis Ameyaw to step around a defender and deposit one between the legs of the keeper. Just as the PacWest champions scored two in quick succession, so too did the Bruins, notching a second tally less than two minutes later.
Michael Krzeminski played out wide to Diego Poveda on the left wing, where he slung a cross onto the penalty spot for Cyrus Rollocks to head down and in. The Bruins would enter the interval up a goal, after Capilano handled the ball just outside the area, awarding a Sheridan free kick. Freddie Ameyaw authored a goal-of-the-tournament candidate, blasting it over a four-man Capilano wall and into the top left corner.
Jackson nearly pulled the Blues level in the 52nd minute, getting a breakaway after running onto a long ball, but De Los Santos waited him out and made the save. It proved to be a critical miss as the Double Blue piled on three more goals to run the game well out of reach.
Krzeminski scored a brace in a five minute span, with the first a tap-in after receiving a pass from Christian Lopac after he collected the ball after a Rollocks attempt hit the crossbar, and then it was a corner kick that dove in and snuck under the arm of the keeper.
Francis Ameyaw - who scored six times in the championship, including at least one in all four matches - got the final say on the score sheet in the 78th minute, putting away the rebound after Rollock's shot from just outside the box was stopped.
The Bruins found themselves in the bronze medal game after a dramatic 2-1 win over Langara in the bronze semi final that saw 11 cards handed out and where four Sheridan players were sent off. Unable to make a 1-0 lead stand up in the second half, the Double Blue inexplicably found a winner through Francis Ameyaw in second half stoppage time while playing seven on 11.
A steady force on the Sheridan backline throughout the tournament, Anthony Wright was named a championship All-Star.
Blue notes: With the bronze, Sheridan has now won four national medals (one gold, one silver, two bronze) and has played for a medal in every trip to the national championship, having dropped bronze medal games to Dawson and Capilano in their first two nationals appearances in 1984 and 1985.