OTTAWA - The Golden Hawk men's soccer team fell 2-1 to the host Carleton Ravens in the consolation semifinals on Friday as part of the CIS men's soccer national championships.
The loss concludes the season for the provincial champion men’s soccer team who finished the season in second in the OUA west with a record of 7-3-4.
“Today was a true test of character after the outcome we had yesterday and these guys reacted well,” said head coach MARIO HALAPIR post-game. “These guys have achieved the maximum level they could. I’m as happy as I could possibly be with their performance this season.”
Earlier in the playoffs, the Golden Hawks defeated the Ravens in penalty kicks to advance to the provincial gold medal game where they defeated York to claim the program’s fourth Ontario title.
“We worked hard and moved the ball,” commented rookie Christopher Walker of Mississauga, Ont. “We just weren’t able to do it today. Both times we played against Carleton it’s been one goal games.”
The game was the first in the post-season for the Hawks to not advance to extra time.
“Two losses in two games doesn’t look very good,” said Walker on the experience of the trip. The 6-3 midfielder was named player of the game by the host committee in both of the contests. “But it’s a learning process, and we’re a young team, and we will do well in the future – our heads are up high.”
Laurier's Stefan Clarke (Cambridge, Ont.) scored the opening goal of the contest just four minutes in. Transfer student Ariaan Reurink (Amsterdam, Netherlands) put a corner kick across the box and Walker was able to move the ball to Clarke to finish it off.
After the goal, Carleton won several balls and started to build momentum to their goal at the 21st minute. All-Canadian striker Matthew D’Angelo slid to reach the ball and put it by keeper Yousef El-Abbar (Kitchener, Ont.) to tie the game up at ones.
The second half picked up with the same energy on both teams as several yellow cards were handed out in aggressive play. Justin Campos scored what would be the game winner in the 80th minute.
Sopearin Yos (St. Catharines, Ont.) had an opportunity from about 30 yards out late in the half but was stopped by the Carleton keeper in an aggressive play.
“I’ve got no regrets in the end,” commented veteran keeper El-Abbar. “This season was a great experience and overall I was happy to be a part of the Golden Hawk program.”
El-Abbar is one of three Hawks not returning next season. The keeper, as well as Reurink and CIS Community Service award recipient Imran Ahmed (Windsor, Ont.) will move on but the balance of the team stays intact.
“We’re going to do the same thing next year we did this year to make sure we can compete,” said Halapir when looking at the future of the program. “At the end of the day we’ll work to replace those who we are losing, but we will move on.”
CAR: 1-1: 2
WLU: 1-0: 1
1. Laurier, Stefan Clarke, 6th
2. Carleton, Matthew D’Angelo, 21st
3. Carleton, Justin Campos, 80th
CAR: Langford (W, 1 GA, 2 saves, 80 mins)
CAR: Wasslen (injured/substituted, 10 mins)
WLU: Yousef El-Abbar (L, 2 GA, 7 saves, 90 mins)
Shots: CAR 14, WLU 7
Shots on Net: CAR 9, WLU 3
Corners: CAR 7, WLU 2
Offsides: WLU 4, CAR 1
Fouls: CAR 22, WLU 15
Yellow Cards: Carleton (Nicholas Persichino, Craig Deebank, Arjun Langford), Laurier (Alex Doma, Stefan Clarke, Josh Moore).
Players of the Game:
CAR: Justin Campos
WLU: Christopher Walker