Third time’s the charm: men’s indoor soccer wins OCAA Championships

Defensive showcase sees Huskies take gold for first time since 2007

Third time’s the charm for George Brown men’s indoor soccer.

After bronze medal finishes in the previous two Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Indoor Soccer Championships, this year’s Huskies squad took home the province’s top prize. The victory marked George Brown’s first men’s indoor soccer gold medal in a decade.

Their performance gave credence to the cliché that defence wins championships. The Huskies gutted out back-to-back 1-0 victories on March 25, first against Fanshawe in the semi-finals and then versus St. Clair in the gold medal game.

Fanshawe proved a formidable opponent, requiring George Brown goalkeeper Milad Kahani to be sharp throughout the match. The back-and-forth affair looked to be headed to extra time, until Huskies midfielder/forward Zuheib Mohamed broke the deadlock in the game’s dying seconds.

“We knew chances were going to come,” said Mohamed after the match. “It ended up coming at the end of the game, but we’ll take it.”

There were a couple hours interlude before George Brown faced the St. Clair Saints in the OCAA gold medal game. For a number of Huskies veterans, St. Clair was an all too familiar opponent, having lost to the Saints in last year’s semi-finals.

This time around, that familiarity helped George Brown game plan for what to expect.

“We knew how they were going to play,” said Huskies forward Shaquille Agard, whose six goals and constant offensive threat earned him tournament MVP honours. “We knew they were going to press us and play the long ball, so all we did was counter that and try to finish our chances.”

Perhaps sensing that one goal might be enough, both sides played much of the final with an abundance of caution. Tension briefly turned to jubilation when midway through the second half, Huskies midfielder Behnam Fazili found forward Daniel Cunha all alone on the back post. The resulting tap-in put the Huskies on the board, but with plenty of time left on the clock.

From there, the game’s remainder featured George Brown’s best fortress impression. Goalkeeper Aris Efstathiadis stood on his head and the Huskies weathered a ceaseless Saints onslaught to preserve the 1-0 victory.

“Honestly, just the idea of all the guys with that medal at the end of the day, was enough for me to push myself and not let anything in the back of the net,” said Efstathiadis.

Huskies head coach John Williams lauded George Brown’s hard work, calling it a much-deserved win. With this gold medal finish, coupled with earning provincial bronze during the outdoor season, Williams expressed confidence that his team is on the right track.

For Efstathiadis, the pathway for repeating as champions next year is clear.

“Exactly what we did this year.”


Third time’s the charm: men’s indoor soccer wins OCAA Championships