Mohawk needs to shore up defence in soccer

The second season has arrived in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association as 12 men’s soccer teams begin quests for a berth to the provincial championship, beginning this weekend.

The top six teams in each region have advanced to the post-season with the top two teams getting byes into the quarter-finals. This weekend will see the third place team as host to the sixth-best club in their respective region. The fifth seed visits the fourth.

The 2012 OCAA Men’s Soccer Championship takes place at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont. from Oct. 26-27.

Mohawk (4-4-0, 6th West) at Fanshawe (5-2-1, 3rd West)
Saturday, Oct. 13 – 3 p.m.

Fanshawe was an offensive juggernaut during the regular season scoring a league-high 24 times. Second-year midfielder Cedric N’Guessan’s (North Berger, N.J.) contributed eight of those goals.

By comparison, Mohawk had issues on the defensive side of the pitch, allowing a league-worst 21 goals among playoff teams. Offensively, fifth-year midfielder Matthew Kernick (Dundas) and first-year defender Patryk Korbut (Barrie) led the team with three goals each.

Fanshawe was dominant in its regular season meeting with Mohawk, winning 8-1 on Oct. 2. N’Guessan recorded a hat trick in the match.

The winner visits Seneca (5-1-2, 2nd East) in the next round.

Fleming (3-5-0, 6th East) at Centennial (5-2-1, 3rd East)
Saturday, Oct. 13

One-and-done time began for Fleming early, as the Knights faced a must-win regular season finale just to keep their post-season hopes alive. A 3-1 win over St. Lawrence-Kingston, combined with La Cite’s 2-1 loss to Algonquin clinched the sixth and final playoff spot for Fleming.

First-year player Brett Fair (Whitby) scored a pair of goals for the Knights in the win. After two opening victories, Fleming went on a five-game losing streak before turning it around at regular season’s end. Among its losses was a 1-0 defeat against Centennial on Sept. 20.

Centennial proved that last season’s 3-3-1 record was not a fluke. Although held out of the post-season due to a condensed format as a result of the support staff work stoppage, the Colts were rewarded for their efforts this time around.

Second-year player E.J. Powell (Scarborough) led the Colts with five regular season goals.

The winner of this match faces two-time defending OCAA champion Humber in the quarter-finals (6-2-0, 2nd West).

Durham (3-2-3, 5th East) at Cambrian (3-1-4, 4th East)
Sunday, Oct. 14 – 2 p.m.

The feel good story of 2012 belongs to Cambrian after losing its entire 2011 regular season as a result of the support staff work stoppage. The Golden Shield lost only one game during the regular season as it looks to advance to the quarter-finals as they did back in 2010.

Second-year forward Jason Taylor (Sudbury) leads the Golden Shield offensive attack with four goals.

Durham is undefeated in its last six games, the past three draws. First-year striker Marco Trotta (Oshawa) is the top scorer on the Lords with four goals.

Durham and Cambrian battled to a scoreless draw back on Sept. 29. There will be no tie this time around, with the potential of overtime or sudden death penalty kicks.

The winner takes on OCAA West Division champion St. Clair (6-1-1, 1st West).

Sheridan (4-2-2, 5th West) at Conestoga (5-2-1, 4th West)
Sunday, Oct. 14 – 5 p.m.

Sheridan and Conestoga were OCAA silver and bronze medalists, respectively, in 2011. Only one of these teams will have a chance at a medal after Sunday.

Sheridan enters the post-season on a three-game win streak, having gone undefeated in five straight matches. The Bruins present a double offensive threat in fifth-year player Johnathan Costa (Mississauga) and first-year teammate Kelechi Ebuta (Scarborough). Each scored five goals during the regular season.

Conestoga is led by first-year forward Josh Gross (Waterloo) and his seven regular season goals. The Condors are undefeated in five matches, having won four.

Sheridan and Conestoga met on Sept. 27 with the match ending in a 1-1 draw. Costa and second-year forward Felipe Da Conceico (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) scored the goals for their respective teams.

The winner of this match visits OCAA East Division champion Algonquin (5-0-3, 1st East).