Championship Final: Sheridan Bruins 5, VIU Mariners 4 (6-5 PK)
The Sheridan Bruins narrowly surpassed the VIU Mariners in the Championship finals in a nail-biter that had the Bruins clinching the victory 5-4, winning 6-5 on penalties.
In a constant back-and-forth battle that could’ve seen either side come ahead, the host team fought back from giving up late goals in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time and the 115th minute, maintaining composure through penalties and not missing a single marker from the spot.
Hundreds of people – including Canadian Men’s National Soccer head coach Benito Floro – braved the wet cold to observe the matchup, cheering loudly for each Bruin goal and falling silent for each of the VIU’s.
The game started with a bang, with a goal by VIU’s Victor Blasco in the 7th minute after the ref awarded a penalty kick following an ill-advised sliding tackle by a Bruins defender in the area.
Sheridan bounced back in the 32nd minute when Chris Di Vizio-Mendez scored off a one-touch from a beautiful ball in threaded through the VIU defense corps by Raheem Edwards.
Edwards continued his production with a goal of his own in the 42nd minute with a header off a cross from Bruins captain, David Velastegui.
Two consecutive goals in the 41st and 42nd minutes concluded the half, and the two teams found themselves even at two goals apiece.
The second half saw a revitalized and energetic Sheridan unit, led by Raheem Edwards who sent a ball across the area in the 73rd minute and found the foot of Khody Ellis who buried the team’s third goal.
The outlook was positive for Sheridan, but a penalty awarded to VIU in the 90th+4 minute gave the Mariners a breath of life after they converted from the spot to send the game into extra time.
A Sheridan goal in the 91st minute almost took them to the promise land, until a late VIU conversion in the 115th minute stunned the crowd and sentenced the game to be won on penalty kicks.
Each of the teams’ first five shooters found the back of the net, but VIU’s sixth shooter missed wide to the left. After a conversion from Sheridan’s Chris Di Vizio-Mendez, the game was sealed for the Bruins, and their place atop the podium – and as Canada’s No.1 team – was cemented for the 2014-15 season.
Bronze Medal Match: Garneau 3, NAIT 2
CEGEP Garneau Elans edged NAIT 3-2 in extra time to secure their position as the Bronze final winners.
The rematch between the two sides was all too familiar for the Ooks, losing to the Elans for the second time in the tournament after experiencing a 6-0 blowout on Day 1.
Nerves seemed to be a factor at the start of the first half, which was littered with errant passes and over-compensatory defending from both sides, although their overall positioning was textbook.
It took the entire first half for the first goal to be scored, coming in added time off a Garneau 3-on-1 constituted by precision passing that left NAIT’s defender and goalkeeper helpless.
The second half started with both squads emphasizing organization and responsibility with the ball.
NAIT seemed to have been revitalized as they exuded confidence in their attack, while Garneau’s possessions seemed more conservative.
It wasn’t until the 69th minute that Garneau achieved its first tally, coming off a corner kick resulting in a header by Alexandre Larkin-Vachon that reached the back of NAIT’s net.
The game almost swayed in NAIT’s favour after they developed a fantastic chance in the area late in the second half, only to have their ambition thwarted by a sprawling Garneau goalkeeper who made a remarkable second-effort to swat the ball away from the goal line.
The game was to be decided in extra time, which displayed an explosion of offense initialized by Garneau’s goal in the 99th minute off a penalty kick. The Elans added to their lead with another tally in the 105th minute after converting off an NAIT giveaway inside the area.
The Ooks slotted home a penalty kick in the 117th minute in an effort to keep the game alive, but ultimately fell short.
In a game where emotions ran high, six yellow cards and one red were handed out altogether.
Players of the game were given to Garneau’s goalkeeper, Antoine Pouliot, and NAIT midfielder, Bruno Zebie.
Earlier in the day The Douglas Royals defeated the Holland Hurricanes 2-1 in the 7/8 placement match and the Keyano Huskies won a re-match with Algonquin 3-1 in the 5/6 match.
Tournament All-Star Team
Kishoyian Kipusi, Algonquin
Monty Haines, NAIT
Bruno Zebie, NAIT
Antoine Pouliet, Garneau
Tomas St. Maurice, Garneau
Victor Blasco, VIU
Renan Rebelatto, VIU
Aly Adeeb, VIU
David, Velastegui, Sheridan
Molham Babouli, Sheridan
Daniel Voci, Sheridan
Tournament MVP – Daniel Voci, Sheridan
Recap by: Spencer Luyben