Men’s soccer team finishes fifth at Nationals

The team traveled to Charlottetown to play against college teams from across Canada.

Langara Falcons soccer team arrive at Vancouver International Airport after a week in P.E.I. Photo by Shabnam Jessa.
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Reported by Shabnam Jessa

The Langara Falcons finished fifth overall at the CCAA National Soccer Championships last week, following a 3-2 victory in their last game against the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks.

The men’s soccer team travelled to Charlottetown, P.E.I. where they played four games against college teams from across the country. Even though they didn’t come home with gold, the players were happy that they participated in the national tournament.

“You can’t take anything for granted. We learned from it. We’re a family. We put our trust in each other and we look forward to next season,” first-year player Anmol Singh said.

Team captain Joey Ratcliffe agreed that playing in the tournament was valuable.

“It was a great experience for the first- and second-year players,” Ratcliffe said.

A week of tough games for the Falcons

In their first game at nationals, the Falcons lost after a lengthy battle of penalty kicks with the Humbert Hawks, one of their toughest rivals. The Hawks went undefeated in their next two games to win gold.

“They’re a contender for nationals every year. We’re disappointed to lose to them in penalty kicks,” Ratcliffe said.

On day two, the Falcons defeated the St. Thomas Tommies 1-0 in a game plagued by rough winds.

“We didn’t win the way we wanted to, but a win is a win,” goalkeeper Kevin Monk said.

Monk, a senior Falcon, said he felt lucky to compete at the national level in his final year in college.

On day three, the Falcons battled it out against the Sheridan Bruins for a spot in the bronze medal game, losing after the Bruins scored a tie-breaking goal in the 90th minute.

Emmanuel Ekeh, PacWest’s 2018 Rookie of the Year, was awarded a CCAA All-Canadian title for combined excellence in athletics and academics. Fellow first-year James Millar was a CCAA Championship All-Star.

Monk and Millar were awarded Player of the Match in games two and nine respectively. Second-year Taku Ota was named Player of the Match after both games five and 12.

Coach Marc Rizzardo said he’s proud of how the team gets along.

“They play for each other,” Rizzardo said. “Looking ahead to next year, the players are very motivated to return and win.”

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