The Algonquin Thunder men’s soccer team has finished the 2016 regular season with a first place finish in their division clinching their spot at the OCAA championships in Hamilton. ON, October. 27 – 29.
The squad ended with a record of 10-0 and a goal differential of plus-29.
Among the Thunder men is Marco Natoli who currently sits among the league leaders in goals with ten.
Thunder head coach Mike Gagliano says that his group has an idea of what to expect at provincials.
“We are a pretty well experienced team,” said Gagliano. “A lot of our players have been there, a lot of them know what to expect. We are just going to make sure we are highlighting all the little details we need to highlight and just focus on our execution for the most part.”
But Gagliano admits that the team can’t be too confident going into the post-season and there is still work to be done.
“We try to keep our players heads leveled for most of the season,” said Gagliano. “I think we’ve had a humbling result against Durham twice this year. These things cause the guys to look in the mirror a little bit and the result won’t come as easy as they might think it will. We work to make sure we always stay humble and look at ourselves as underdogs.”
Andres Sanchez scored twice for Algonquin when they ended the regular season at home against the St. Lawrence Kings on October. 19 with a 6-0 victory.
“Beginning to end I thought we moved the ball around well,” said Gagliano. “We are executing more of what we have been looking to do during training sessions which is good, we are making good runs into the box and moving the ball quicker than we have been in the past.”
Algonquin midfielder Toni El-Asmar said he isn’t thinking about who they will face at the OCAA championships.
“I don’t talk about another opponent,” said El-Asmar. “We focus on the next game, we are focusing on the quarter finals and that’s it.”
But El-Asmar says he is confident in the team and knows there are guys on the team that can make things happen.
“Our confidence is real good, not cocky, but we are confident,” said El-Asmar. “We have depth, our top guys are feeling good and we are rolling right now. We need to just keep going, focus on the task at hand and keep getting better.”
The Thunder also defeated the Fleming Knights on the road October. 15, 7-1, and outshot the opponent 18-9.
Leading the team in scoring was Natoli who scored two goals two minutes apart. One at the 37th minute and the next at the 39th minute.
Algonquin would keep Fleming off the scoreboard until the 72nd minute of the game.
The squad won another game on the road defeating the Durham Lords 2-1 on October 14.
Scoring for the Thunder were Alex Asmis and Ali Albadry.
Algonquin outshot the Durham Lords 13-10.
The Thunder will play their next game in the quarter-finals at the OCAA Championship in Hamilton. ON, which takes place October 27-29.