CCAA 2022 men’s championship recap: Day 1
From penalty kicks to yellow cards day one was filled with action
By Voice Journalism Students
Host win after critical error
The Langara Falcons will face defending champs Humber Hawks in the semifinals of the CCAA men’s soccer national championship in Langley, after the B.C. hosts shook off some nerves to advance and the Toronto powerhouse blitzed through Wednesday’s opening round play.
The Falcons will have their work cut out for them against the Hawks, who have won the national title six times since 2012 and are undefeated this season.
In the other semifinal, Vancouver Island University will play the Seneca Sting of Toronto.
The Falcons beat SAIT Trojans 3-1.
The game started very physical with both teams committing dangerous faults against their rivals. That lead to a yellow card for Trojans player Nico Gonzalez at the ninth minute.
In the first quarter of the game there was no clear dominator. While there was a back-and-forth flow, the major action took place in the midfield.
Through the possession of the ball, the Falcons started to pressure the Trojans against their own field. That pressure quickly led to the opening goal of the match, with Yuto Kimura scoring to put the Falcons in the lead in the 19th minute.
Falcons defender Connor Thompson set his team back when he scored in his own net in the 40th minute while trying to cut the attacking approach of the Trojans.
By using both sides of the field, the Falcon’s full backs tried to take the team out to the attacking phase of the game, but the Falcons failed to take advantage of the chances they got.
Most of the second half was played in the Trojans side with the Falcons offensive taking place in the wings.
Noah Holmes put the Falcons in the lead in the 71st minute , when he scored Langara’s second goal.
Holmes recognized the Trojans as a difficult opponent.
“For the first half, SAIT was pushing us very hard,” he said. “We just played our game and I think my entire team performed very well.”
In the 86th minute, Falcons forward, Athos Michellepis de Siqueira scored the third and last goal for the Falcons after a pass from the right side of the pitch.
“Specifically, we just need to make sure that we play better defensively as a team,” said Falcons head coach Mark Rizzardo.
Hawks demonstrate their might
The Hawks sent a clear message, and ousted Manitoba’s St. Boniface 7-2.
The team surged within minutes, were briefly taken by surprise — then charged back with a vengeance.
Humber lit the scoreboard just three minutes into the game but were soon left trailing when Les Rouges’ Franck Oumar N’Dia scored twice to put St. Boniface in front. But St. Boniface’s lead was short lived with Damion Kaye evening the score with only minutes left in the opening half.
The Hawks returned reinvigorated to the field in a second half that got decidedly more physical, and notched five more goals.
“It didn’t start how we wanted it to start,” said Kaye, adding the team started finding itself late in the opening half. “We started playing the way we wanted to play, how should play how we usually play.”
Hawks head coach Michael Aquino was satisfied with the team’s opening-round effort.
“They showed some resilience and some grit to get the job done,” he said. “Second half, I’m happy with their ability to bounce back, step up to the adversity.”