Huskies quest for OCAA glory begins today vs. Redeemer

4-1 victory over Fleming may provide valuable momentum

Coming off a 1-3-1 stretch heading into Oct. 22’s qualifying match, George Brown’s men’s soccer team didn’t exactly have momentum on their side.

The wind is now at their backs, after the Huskies emphatically punched their ticket to the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Championship with a 4-1 victory over the Fleming Knights.

Which isn’t to say advancing was easy. On an especially windy Saturday afternoon, George Brown found themselves fighting both the elements and the opposition. Starting against the wind, the first 20 minutes were a story of dramatic curves and deadened balls.

After that initial period, George Brown adjusted to the conditions and weathered the first half storm. Following intermission, with Fleming now on the wind’s receiving end, the Huskies turned a 1-0 lead into a 4-1 blowout, ending the game with goals from Ozzy Keles, Nikolaos Takas and two from Jo-Horus Toutou.

Sports are a realm of victor and vanquished, and for the Huskies to move on, Fleming’s season had to end. Though obviously not the hoped for result, Knights head coach Tony Bombino had a positive message moving forward.

“We’re glad to say that we made it this far,” said Bombino. “We come from a small college, so we’re holding our own. Our takeaway is the fact that we still have a few young guys that are coming back next year, and we hope to build on that.”

Having defeated Fleming, George Brown advances to the OCAA Championship and a date today against the tournament’s hosts, Redeemer University College. In facing the 4-4-2 Redeemer Royals, Huskies head coach John Williams is well aware of the hostile environment his team is entering.

“It’s going to be a home crowd there so we’re going to need to stay disciplined, stay tight,” said Williams. “I think we weather the first 20 minutes of that game, and our skill will slowly take over for us.”

It’s already been quite the journey for Ozzy Keles. While in his first season as a Husky, Keles’ career includes having played professionally for three years in his native Turkey. The affable defender, who broke the 0-0 deadlock against Fleming with a converted penalty, has a special message for his teammates.

“I lost everything in Turkey, almost everything,” said Keles. “There is no family, no friends. After that, I came here, and now I have lots of brothers, more than friends.”

Keles tells of how, in need of soccer shoes, players on the team brought him an abundance to wear. He thanks the squad for their help and patience, and for his teammates, he has one message heading into today’s tilt.

“We are going to (the OCAA Championship) to be champions,” said Keles. “Because we are champions, we are George Brown, we are Huskies.”

The George Brown Huskies play the Redeemer Royals today in Ancaster at 5:00 pm.

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Huskies quest for OCAA glory begins today vs. Redeemer