TORONTO – Forward Spencer Cawker of Mississauga, Ont. scored the lone goal of the contest as the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (7-3-4) defeated the defending champion York Lions (9-4-1) 1-0 to claim the team’s fourth provincial banner.
Minutes after the men’s team claimed their banner, the women’s soccer team defeated University of Ottawa in penalty kicks for their sixth title.
“The character on this team is beyond,” commented men’s team head coach MARIO HALAPIR. “We prepare for every team in a specific way. Working against York, we had to plan for so many challenges and our guys were able to put in a lot of effort and bring the gold home.”
Cawker came into the scoring situation in overtime after York defender Franco Ruscetta mishandled the ball.
“I saw the goalie come out and take his first step looking a little hesitant so I just tried to kick the ball and chip it by him,” commented the second year business major on the scoring play. “I was able to follow through and put it in and it was crazy.”
The game had scoring chances on both sides through regulation time however both defences and keepers had strong games holding the score to zeros. Zachary Faubert-Tétreault (Kitchener, Ont.), Matthew Smith (Oakville, Ont.) had strong games in the backfield while Cawker, Sopearin Yos (St. Catharines, Ont.) and Imran Ahmed (Windsor, Ont.) created many scoring opportunities.
Earlier this year the No. 9 Hawks had tied and loss to the No. 4 Lions.
“We tried to pressure in certain areas and contain their talent as much as we could,” stated Halapir on the adjustments and substitutions Laurier made throughout the game.
Keeper Yousef El-Abbar (Kitchener, Ont.) made some key saves in the contest including a header in the 78th minute of play which could have been the game.
Laurier last held the Blackwood Trophy above their heads in 2000 on route to the team’s first ever national title. The following season the Hawks claimed their second national title.
“The team effort from everyone this weekend was incredible,” commented third year player and co-captain Ben Clifford (Milton, Ont.). “Everyone gave it all they had and we were the underdogs and we ended up taking two of the best teams in Canada.”
Earlier this weekend in the provincial semifinal, the team earned a berth to the CIS Championships at Carleton University in Ottawa next week. The team starts competition on Thursday in a national quarter-final. Check back with laurierathletics.com for more information on team at the national championships.