Sudden exit for men's soccer

1-0 playoff loss brings season to an end

The Gaels season ended against the University of Toronto following their 1-0 defeat.
The Gaels season ended against the University of Toronto following their 1-0 defeat.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo
After a season of ups and downs, men’s soccer has been eliminated from the OUA playoffs after their 1-0 defeat at the hands of the University of Toronto.
 
When these two teams met during the year, the match-up was split even, with both sides managing a win.
 
From kickoff, it was clear both sides were in for a tough match-up.
The Gaels were in a different spot in the seventh minute from a Varsity Blues scoring attempt. But goalkeeper Taylor Reynolds  kept out the almost perfectly placed corner kick, keeping the game at a standstill.
 
Midfielder Oliver Coren nearly opened the scoring for the Gaels at the 14th minute mark, but his free kick unfortunately hit the crossbar.
 
While it looked like the Gaels would keep the game at a draw going into the half, their fortunes took a turn for the worse. Varsity Blues striker Nirun Sivananthan connected on a cross from his Toronto teammate, placing the shot in the top corner past Reynolds.
 
Instead of being tied, the Gaels went into the break in a hole. For Coren, this changed the team’s outlook.
 
“Going into half 0-0 is anyone’s game opposed to going 1-0 down,” Coren said. “Suddenly the impetus is on you to get the goal back, so it was a little demoralizing.”
 
In the second half, the Gaels pushed for an equalizer, but to no avail. With 27 total fouls committed throughout the game, it was tough for the away side to gain any momentum.
 
Reynolds did his best to keep the Gaels in the game, but when the final whistle came, Toronto was victorious.
 
The loss marks the second year in a row the Gaels were eliminated by their Toronto rivals.
 
“We knew it was always going to be decided by one goal,” Coren said.
 
“Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the score line.”
 
In a season riddled with injuries, the Gaels were unsure where they’d finish. Looking at the positives, the Gaels only lost two games this year — an OUA East best.
 
“If it wasn’t for that disappointing trip up north, we might have won the division.” Coren said, referring to two match-ups against the Nipissing Lakers and the Laurentian Voyageurs where the Gaels suffered a draw and a loss. 
 
Despite the struggles, Coren knows the team has the potential to go far next year.
 
“We have to look at the bright side,” Coren said. “The reality is that we were only graduating three players. Going into next season we have a really strong core.”
 
Four Gaels, including Coren, defenders Kristian Zanette and Sam Abernathy and forward Jacob Schroeter were named to the OUA East Second All-Star team.
 
In a sport dominated by upperclassmen, the Gaels received an outstanding contribution from their first years. Injuries to their upper years might have handicapped them, but the experience these first years received could prove useful for years to come.
 
The team’s next challenge is working together in the offseason. Going to the gym three times a week will be complemented with soccer specific training.
 
For Coren, this could make or break next year.
 
“Games are won and lost in the offseason,” he said. “Eight months is a lot of time, hopefully we can take advantage of it.”
 

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.