Huskies eliminated after falling 3-0 to Sault at regionals
Two games into Tuesday’s Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Regional, George Brown’s women’s indoor soccer team looked primed for the OCAA Championship. One game later, their season was over.
The Huskies worked hard to put themselves in a favourable position at the four-team regional, where the top-two squads advanced to provincials. After an unconvincing yet important 3-0 win against St. Lawrence, George Brown faced a tough challenge versus the Seneca Sting. They responded with a patient, smart performance, holding the ball and daring Seneca to come to them.
After the 1-1 draw, midfielder Julia Kassner spoke of the tough but ultimately rewarding strategy of waiting for the right opportunity.
“It’s extremely difficult,” said Kassner, whose penalty tied the game. “We have to just focus on trusting each other and trusting our coach, and we know we’re getting the right information. If we do what we know what to do, then we’re able to succeed.”
Their 1-0-1 record heading into game three meant that either a win or draw against the Sault Cougars would send George Brown through to provincials. Unfortunately, knowing what they had to do did little good.
After the Huskies fell behind 1-0 in the first half, George Brown had to open up and press. Though they piled on the scoring chances as a result, Sault looked eminently comfortable holding the fort. George Brown’s siege of the Cougars’ net lasted almost the entire second half, but by the final whistle, Sault had earned a 3-0 win. With the loss, George Brown’s women’s soccer season came to an abrupt end.
— The Dialog (@DialogGBC) March 7, 2017
“I think Sault just wanted the game a lot more than we did,” said Huskies head coach John Williams. “I think the girls got a little complacent and Sault just seemed to be a little bit more athletic than we were, so that was the difference in the game.”
Given the largely continuous roster from outdoor to indoor, one can look at the development had across both seasons. And without a doubt, gains were made both in terms of team cohesion and between the ears.
“I think night and day,” said defender Francesca Girardo of the team’s improvement. “From when we started, our first outdoor game to now, it’s completely different.” Girardo went on to laud her side’s commitment, hard work and increased want from outdoor to indoor.
The disappointing ending to a promising day was made all the more bittersweet by the presence of eight graduating athletes. But the unsatisfying conclusion can’t take away from a Huskies experience which goes well beyond results on the field.
“Being a Husky has meant, I don’t want to be soppy here but it’s literally meant everything to me,” said graduating midfielder Farrah Sheikh. “I joined the Huskies two weeks after I moved here from Dubai, and they were basically my first friends in the country. They not only grew from just being my friends, but it felt like I found another family here.”