After repeating their Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) West Division win, the Humber Hawks men’s soccer team is preparing to double up and become the OCAA provincial champions once again as well.
If victorious, the men’s soccer team would capture their fifth provincial title in a row, making it the tenth in their history. The Hawks will have to face-off against Cambrian College in their quarter-final match at McNaughton field this Sunday.
“I think finishing (the regular season) strong was a good highpoint for us,” said head coach Michael Aquino.
The Hawks finished the regular season with a record of six wins and two ties. The team found the back of the net 29 times this season, only overshadowed by Sheridan College, who netted 39 goals in total.
“The key is catching a good rhythm towards the end (of the season) and I think that those last three games showed that a little bit,” Aquino said.
The first place West Division win meant that the Hawks would be out of action for a while with a two-week bye.
“In one way it’s a positive because you do get the break to nurse some injuries,” Aquino said, “but the negative would be the sharpness in game play.”
In the meantime, the team is trying to keep focus. “We’re doing things in practice and we’re going to do an inter-squad game with the players which keeps the competitiveness high,” Aquino said.
Assistant coach Alex Sabatini said they want to make sure they’re organized on set-pieces. “That was very key for us last year at nationals where we capitalized on our set-plays,” he said.
Jose Caro, 28, a Guelph-Humber Bachelor of Psychology student and four-year veteran of the men’s soccer team said he knows how to motivate first-year players.
“I think they’re looking forward to having an opportunity to represent the school at a provincial and national level,” he said.
Coach Aquino added that his team will be ready.
“The guys do know that it’s a one game situation and we have to win it,” Aquino said.
Currently, the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) ranks Humber College as the fifth top collegiate men’s soccer team. Only one other OCAA team made the top five – Algonquin College – sitting pretty in first place.