Bruins go from silver to bronze in OCAA men’s soccer

Sheridan Bruins claimed the bronze medal with a 4-2 win over Windsor St. Clair in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association men’s soccer championship.

Humber Hawks claimed the OCAA champion for the third straight season, defeating Seneca 2-0 in the rainy and windy gold medal match. The finals were hosted by Redeemer University College in Ancaster starting on Friday and ending on Saturday (Oct. 27).

Sheridan claimed third place in the first match of the day. Goals were hard to come by in the first half before the flood gates opened in the second. Sheridan scored the only goal of the first half in the 19th minute when Manny Morgado (Mississauga) put the Bruins up 1-0. It remained that way until the first minute of the second half when David Carlesimo (Windsor) scored the equalizer for the Saints.

St. Clair took the lead in the 70th minute on a strike from Jordan Lidia (Leamington) and it looked liked the Saints were on track for an OCAA medal. But with 20 minutes still left on the clock, Sheridan pushed through and two quick goals in the 79th and 81st minutes gave the Bruins the lead for good. David Velastegui (Oakville) and Marlon Sequeira (Brampton) scored the goals.

Sheridan all but finished the match in the 83rd when a goal by Chris Di Vizio Mendes (Mississauga) put the Bruins up by two with just seven minutes to play. Sheridan claimed its third straight OCAA medal after receiving silver the previous two championships.

Humber defeated Seneca in the rainy and windy gold medal match.

Both teams came out very aggressively and despite a card-filled first half, the game remained scoreless heading into halftime. Both defences played solid with only two shots on goal registered the entire first 45 minutes.

The second half opened the same way the first half finished. Both teams moved the ball around well but neither team could break through. After a collision forced Seneca goalkeeper Peter Durst (Newmarket) out of the match, back-up goalie Andrew Cairns (Markham) made numerous big saves to keep the score level.

Finally, Humber scored in the 59th minute on a goal from Matthew Rios (Toronto). Seneca pushed for the equalizer but a goal in the final 10 minutes sealed the outcome for the Hawks as they went up 2-0 on a goal by Aleks Janjic (Serbia).

Rios was named Tournament MVP, and Humber teammate Eugenio Garro (Woodbridge) was named the top goalkeeper. Humber did not allow a goal the entire post-season, including a 1-0 semifinal victory over Sheridan on Friday.

For Seneca, it is their best OCAA finish since winning silver in 2009. The silver lining for the Sting is that they will join Humber at the 2012 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association men’s national championship as a wild card entry. The nationals take place Nov. 7-10 at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C.

Velastegui, Humber’s Yousif Yousif (Toronto) and Seneca’s David Alva (Brampton) were named championship all-stars.

For St. Clair, it was a disappointing finish to an otherwise successful campaign that resulted in a regular season regional championship. The Saints advanced to the semifinals only to leave empty handed for the second straight season. St. Clair lost 4-2 to Seneca in the other semifinal.