It was a Redeemer redemption at its finest.
The Humber men’s indoor soccer team captured the OCAA Championship this past weekend at Redeemer University College, defeating Centennial College 1-0 in the gold medal game on Saturday.
The gold medal was Humber’s first since 2012, ending a two season drought.
“Coming back with great guys like this, we came, we sacrificed for each other,” said Humber forward Mike Aigbokie. “We knew we could do it. Humber hasn’t won this in a long time, so it’s good coming back with a gold medal.”
Humber marched through the OCAA Championship tournament, going undefeated throughout the round robin.
The Hawks got out to an early lead in their semi-final match against Sheridan College, after Aigbokie scored less than a minute in. Humber held off a six on five attack for the remainder of the game, as Sheridan pulled their goalie in an attempt to tie the game.
“We expected it, we’ve played against Sheridan before,” said first-year striker Jordan Piccinin. “We set up our box, which we worked on in practice, and with that we were able to defend wherever they pushed it. We were in full communication the entire time like good teammates.”
Piccinin came off the bench to score a late first half penalty kick, which put Humber up 2-0 and sealed the win for the Hawks, putting them in the championship match.
The gold medal final was Humber’s closest and most physical game of the tournament. Humber held off Centennial all game after Aigbokie netted the game’s only goal halfway through the first half.
“We had a plan, we already knew they’d come with lots of energy, but we just had to stick to what we came for,” said Aigbokie. “Our guys are a bunch of great guys, everybody’s thinking about the team and wants to win for the team.”
The gold medal game saw lots of five-on-four action, as blue cards were handed out to both teams in the second half.
“It could have gone either way. They’re a hell of a team, they’re a hell of a program,” said Centennial head coach Julian Carr. “I have nothing but respect for the Humber program.”
It’s hard not to respect an OCAA Championship team.
“We’re the champions now, and that’s it,” said Aigbokie.