By: Teru Ikeda and Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
Scarborough, ON – The Colts fell 6-2 to Sheridan in last year's crossover game and were determined to exact revenge on home turf in this year's crossover rematch.
The Colts have never beaten Sheridan in the playoffs, but they were adamant on defying history. They were neck in neck with the Bruins in the first half, which was the most physical game on Progress Turf Field this season.
The Colts had a solid first half, with three aggressive, but clean, slide tackles, and two shots on goal. The Bruins had three. Kevin Segamanasinghe had a beautiful free kick on target, curving the ball around a Bruins defender, but had fallen right into the hands of Bruins goalkeeper Chester Ashby.
Going into the second half, both teams were tied 0-0. But the latter 45 minutes was, unfortunately, a different story.
Sheridan's speed, aggressiveness and intensity never waned. They dominated the second half offensively with 18 shots, nine on goal. In comparison, Centennial had only five shots, four on goal.
At the 53rd minute, the Bruins came flying down the field after a clearance attempt gone awry from Colts goalie Chim Oneyeka and Bruins striker Rahim Thorpe took advantage, netting his first of three goals in the game. The Colts struggled to answer back the entire half.
"We create opportunities, we'd be in space, and we'd try and hold the ball too much. Or we wouldn't take a shot or we'd try a square pass, which on my team…is a cardinal sin," Julian Carr, Colts Head Coach, said about his team's stagnant offense in the second half.
After the second goal, Carr made an aggressive push by changing the formation from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3, which created a golden scoring opportunity for Terrell Roberts in the 70thminute. The shot, however, was inches high of the target.
"We also missed Liam (Cox). The one person who could create a finishing opportunity," Carr said about the absence of his team's leading scorer, who was out due to a lower body injury.
Carr believed that pulling an upset against Sheridan was well within the realm of possibility. But fear prevented Centennial from a victory.
"We still played nervous, which was really, really sad because we could play with (Sheridan)," Carr said. "They might think we couldn't play with them, but we could play with them. The evidence was there."
As the season ends, Carr will lose eight seniors: four defenders, three midfielders, and a striker. He remains a little envious about Sheridan's tenacious soccer culture, and hopes to cultivate a similar one as recruitment begins.
"I need someone on this team that's just straight out mean," he emphasized. "When you play a team like Sheridan, they're technically sound, they're athletic, and they're mean. They're just straight-out, downright, nasty mean. And we don't have anybody like that here."
He is also searching for finishers and tenacious defenders: "Finishers are hard to find these days. We got a lot of kids that are technical, but have very few kids that can finish and very few kids that can defend properly."
TOP THREE PERFORMERS OF THE GAME
1. Ostap Hamarnyk (DF)
2. Chrystiann Morim Domeles (MF)
3. Kevin Segamanasinghe (DF)