Penalty kicks give Mac OUA soccer crown

The McMaster Marauders upset the No. 1 ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues in penalty kicks to earn a 1-0 victory and the Ontario University Athletics championship at Varsity Centre on Sunday.

Toronto’s seventh shooter in penalty kicks, Darragh McGee (Donegal, Ireland), sent his ball high over the crossbar, ending the three-hour match and giving McMaster its first OUA title since 1992.

The victory marked the fourth consecutive playoff McMaster has won with penalty kicks.

Third-year midfielder Anthony Costa (Stoney Creek) had four shots in the game and was named the Marauders’ player of the game, while goalkeeper John Smits (Mississauga) earned player of the game honours for the Blues with nine saves on the day.

Monkgogi Moseki (Hamilton) put Smits to work early, recording the first shot of the game in the third minute.

Toronto midfielder Geoffrey Borgmann (Dixie) sent a hard shot toward the bottom right corner of the net that was denied in the seventh minute.

Both teams had chances early.

The Blues, Alex Raphael (East York) found himself alone in front of the net, however, an offside call negated the opportunity. In the 25th minute, McMaster midfielder, Aaron Booth (Whitby) booted a corner to the front of the six-yard box, but Smits turned away the well-placed kick to keep the game deadlocked.

The Marauders continued to press but Blues defenders Yannis Gianniotis (Toronto) and McGreee stood tall as the game remained tied 0-0 at the half.

McMaster held the play for the first 15 minutes of the second half, until third-year Blues’ midfielder Scott Nesbitt (Scarborough) sent a booming shot just over the top of the net to ignite the Toronto attack.

In the 69th minute of play, McMaster first year striker Chinomnso Nwamadi (Brampton) hit the cross bar.

For the fourth time in as many games at the OUA men’s soccer championship, the game would go into overtime and be decided by penalty kicks.

After the first five penalty kicks, both teams had scored three times. McMaster’s Mark Reilly (Hamilton) knocked in the first sudden-death shot with the Blues Geoffrey Borgmann countering. McMaster second team all-star Kyle Grootenboer (Brantford) would also score for the Marauders, forcing Toronto’s hand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for McGee, who sent his shot high and wide left.

Both Mac and the UofT will advance to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship Nov. 12-15, 2009 in Langley, B.C. McMaster will play in the CIS quarter-final match on Thursday, Nov. 12 against McGill University at 3 p.m.

(With notes from Jill Clark from the University of Toronto)