The Algonquin Thunder men’s soccer team took down the Fleming Knights by a final score of 3-0 on Oct. 12 and now occupy the top spot in the OCAA’s East division, one point ahead of the Durham Lords as the regular season winds down.
The Thunder got off to a fast start in this one, with striker Shamir Lubenga scoring in the 7th minute. Algonquin would cruise from there, controlling the pace and preventing the Knights from registering a single shot on goal. Thunder midfielder Lucas Blain scored in the 55th minute, before Lubenga added his second of the game in the 74th minute.
Despite the convincing victory Thunder head coach Mike Gagliano still wasn’t thrilled with his team’s performance.
“If I’m going to be honest, I’m actually not that happy with it, just in the sense that we were really slow with our tempo and we didn’t take the opportunities that were given to us,” he said. “The big thing is, as we go forward into the bigger games, you’re going to get less and less of those opportunities, so you have to make them count and not making them count here doesn’t help us going forward.”
Midfielder Kieran Spring seemed to echo coach Gagliano’s sentiment, believing that several chances were left on the table.
“I think, defensively, we’ve been pretty decent this season not conceding goals, but against a team like this, that’s not really our focus. It would have been a good opportunity to try some things in the attacking third (of the field), but we were really slow in possession, I thought,” said Spring. “Against a team like this, we should be scoring more than three goals. So, from that perspective, it’s a little disappointing.”
With the regular season wrapping up this weekend and the OCAA provincial tournament on the horizon, the Thunder only have one goal in mind.
“Like every year, we have the same goal and it’s to win a national championship. We’ve been to the dance a bunch of times, just trying to make it count now is where we really want to take that next step,” said coach Gagliano. “That’s sort of where we’re at, but always the same goal, every year we want to do some damage when we go to nationals.”
The Thunder end their regular season on Oct. 13 against the Seneca Sting, where a victory would clinch first place in the division, earning them a bye into the provincial tournament.