Men’s soccer team back on track

There might not be many rivalries in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) soccer, but this is one of the best.

When asked if there was a rivalry between Laurier and York, Laurier coach Mario Halapir was clear in his answer, “Not for me … there is no such thing.”

“My rivalry is every time we step on the field, it’s the next team we play.”
Despite the discrepancy between the actions on the field and the words off the field, Golden
Hawks’ men’s soccer team’s games against the York Lions are memorable.

This past weekend the Hawks came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against one of the most talented teams in the nation in a re-match of last season’s provincial championship.

In the first half, the Hawk’s forwards had difficulty getting past the Lion’s defenders, which resulted in few quality chances.

The lack of excitement on the field, however, was met with chaos on the sidelines as York head coach Carmine Isacco was ejected from the game late in the first half after challenging a referee’s call.

Isacco, who has a reputation for having a short fuse, argued that a Laurier defender tackled a York forward from behind within the box. Whether it was a Hawk or just a strong gust of wind that knocked down the 5’7” 140 lbs York forward was unclear.

After the chaos of the first half, the second half saw urgency in both squads. The Lions’ Adrian Pena gave York the lead in the 48th minute when he struck a cross into the net. The save was an impossible one for Hawks’ rookie goalie Jarrett Humphrey.

Overall, Humphrey had an outstanding game, making several key saves, including one where he got his fingertips on a long-range shot just a minute after the Lions’ goal.

Just three minutes after Pena’s goal, Hawks midfielder Richie Martins lined up for a free kick at the top of the 18-yard box and curled a shot around the York wall and into the net to earn the defending provincial champions a 1-1 draw.

The Hawks also picked up a 2-0 victory over the number 10 ranked Guelph Gryphons the day prior.

Coach Halapir explained that these sorts of results are what the team needs for the remainder of the year.

“The execution last year was as good as I’ve ever seen,” said Halapir. “We have to get that back.”

The Hawks remain at home this weekend as they welcome the Western Mustangs to Alumni Field on Saturday and the Windsor Lancers on Sunday.