Mohawk picks up first soccer victories

Mohawk College’s soccer teams each picked up their first victories of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association season defeating visiting St. Clair of Windsor at Mohawk Sports Park Friday (Sep. 30).

The Mountaineer men edged the Saints 3-2. while the women blanked St Clair 2-0.

In the women’s game, Mohawk was coming off a pair of shutout losses and it was beginning to look like they’d never score. They totally dominated the territorial play in the first half but squandered several opportunities before they finally hit the scoreboard for the first time this season. And it was an excellent goal, as Kailey Swaving of Fergus came all the way up the field from her fullback position and made a perfect cross to Michelle Littler of Caledon East, who headed home the Mountaineers’ first goal of the season with under three minutes to go in the half.

Mohawk continued to put on the pressure in the second half, but had to call on goalkeeper Alyshia Smith of Hamilton, who stopped a St. Clair breakaway to keep the home side in front. Then with about five minutes remaining fourth year midfielder Nicole Douwes of Caledonia notched an insurance marker for the two goal win.

Mountaineers’ co-head coach Michael Castellani said the players are starting to function as a team, because it’s tough to come into a game after suffering back-to-back shutout losses to start the season. “Yes, your’re going to miss goals, said Castellani, but the important thing is being in position in order to score those goals, working the ball in and creating those opportunities.”

Mohawk is now 1-2.

The Mohawk men evened their record at 1-1-1 with a 3-2 victory over St. Clair.

Alex Pereira and Colin Dovan put the locals up 2-0 in the first 45 minutes. The score stayed that way for the early part of the second half when Mohawk came out flat and had to rely on first year goalkeeper Alex Miickeloff of Caledonia, who twice came charging off his line to deny St. Clair ace Robert Malbasic from tying a 28 year old record of 47 career goals, set by Peterborough Fleming’s Mike Everson, an OCAA Hall of Famer. Grimsby’s Adam Petrina seemingly put the game out of reach when he got to a loose ball high in the penalty area and blasted home for a 3-0 Mohawk lead. But St. Clair had other ideas as Brian Santos and Enrique Martinez got two back, but the Saints ran out of time.

Mohawk head coach Richard Bennett said scoring two goals in the first half is not surprising for his team, they just have to keep going and finishing. At the break the coach stressed how important the first ten minutes of the second half would be and as it turned out it was the goalie responsible for keeping the lead. “That was the turning point for us, said Bennett. Alex is playing for the first time at this level and he played like a number one goalkeeper.” As for the letdown in the final 15 minutes, the coach noted the idea was to just hold the fort with the next game coming up the next afternoon and the defense simply fell asleep a couple of times, resulting in St. Clair goals. “It was scary, said Bennett, but I was still confident they’d pull it out anyway.”

The Lambton Lions from Sarnia visit Mohawk Saturday (Oct. 1). Both the men’s and women’s games kick off at 12:00 pm at Mohawk Sports Park.