The Mohawk Mountaineers had to rally to earn a 2-1 men’s soccer win over Niagara in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association play on Tuesday (Sept. 11).
The host Knights struck first as Austin MacDonell found himself free in the box to slot home the opening goal 20 minutes into the contest. The score remained 1-0 for Niagara until an unexpected turn of events less than two minutes into the second half. The Mountaineers Sokiri Kenedy shot a ball along the ground and it went right between the Niagara keeper’s legs to tie the score.
Then, in the 60th minute, Matthew Kernick scored what would prove to be the winning goal with a long free kick from an acute angle. The ball soared into the far upper corner.
Kernick, a fifth-year player with Mohawk, joked about the goal when asked if he planned it. “Coach told me to put it to the back post, which is what I did. It just happened to slip in there at the end.”
Kernick also said strong Mountaineer defending in the second half kept the Knights off balance and ball control in the Niagara end of the field.
Mohawk head coach Richard Bennett said his team had some opening game jitters, but he has a good bunch of players including several rookies.
“I’m looking forward to the season. We had a nice training camp. If they take what they learn in practice into games, I think we’ll be okay.”
Mohawk will get a test on Saturday (Sep. 15) when the Humber Hawks visit. Game time at Redeemer’s outdoor field is 4 p.m.