CCAA 2022 Men’s championship recap: Day 4
Defending champions and first-time medalists gather on podium
By Langara journalism students
The Langara Falcons saved face Saturday, capping a disappointing tournament with a nervy 4-3 victory over the VIU Mariners in a battle for fifth place at the CCAA men’s soccer nationals.
Though considered a strong contender entering the tournament, the Falcons were relegated to the consolation bracket when they lost the semifinal to defending champs Humber College.
The Humber Hawks went on to beat a nine-man Seneca Sting in the final to preserve their title after a dramatic overtime battle in the final that came down to the wire.
The Montmorency Nomades captured their first-ever medal at a CCAA men’s national soccer championship, defeating the SAIT Trojans 2-0 to clinch the bronze.
The Falcons, who lost the PACWEST final to VIU and only secured a nationals berth as hosts, had topped the PACWEST regular season standings. The Mariners — national champs in 2017 and silver medalists in 2019 — had been counting on the team’s adaptability and teamwork to land them on the podium again.
The Falcons were rewarded for their dominant playstyle, tying the game 1-1 after a blistering shot by Athos de Siqueira hit the post, leaving midfielder Takumi Ota an open net to score.
Two minutes into the second half, midfielder Ben Crowther dispatched a first-time shot into the bottom corner, giving the Falcons a 2-1 advantage.
In the 57th minute, a smooth Falcons counter attack orchestrated by Ota was finished by de Siqueira, who slipped the ball past VIU goalkeeper Matteo Chirico to extend the hosts’ lead to 3-1.
Ota then breezed past the VIU defense in the 75th minute, finishing his run with a deflected shot which looped into the net.
In the 79th minute, VIU striker Vasilis Bagiopoulos showed his class, netting his fourth goal of the tournament to make it 4-2, but that’s where it would end for the Mariners.
“It’s good to finish as a team,” Ota said, but added the results were still “not what we were looking for.”
Seneca stings itself in gold medal final
The Humber Hawks beat a nine-man Seneca Sting 2-1 on Saturday, preserving their title as CCAA men’s soccer national champions after a dramatic overtime battle that came down to the wire.
The Hawks, who have swept seven of the last 10 national championship titles, capitalized on a two-man advantage, after two Seneca players were ejected from the match, and a whopping 15 cards were shown throughout the combative final.
The red cards drastically changed the game, forcing Seneca to drop deep and soak up pressure, barely getting the ball out of their own half.
Hawks coach, Michael Aquino, a five-time winner of the CCAA finals, said winning championships “never gets old.”
In a moment of bad luck, a silky Hawks passing move resulted in Taniolo deflecting the ball into his own net. Taniolo, who was nursing injuries on both his ankles, was visibly distraught after the goal.
In a team full of experienced players, it was rookie defender Danny Medeiros who won player of the game for the Hawks.
“I was crying,” said an ecstatic Medeiros. “Feels amazing. Hopefully I can do it again.”
Nomades make team history
Seventh in the CCAA season rankings and having never climbed the national’s podium before, the Nomades did not figure among the hot contenders
arriving at the tournament.
“So much work for the past two years to get one medal,” said Nomades head coach Francisco Vela.
Two solid goals and a strong defense that shut out the Trojans helped the Nomades end their medal drought.
Filled with confidence after their landmark win, the Nomades have even loftier goals now.
“The goal is to come back with the experience we got here this week and get something better next year,” said Montmorency’s’ Shaloom Chimpuki.