The Thunder men’s soccer team defeated cross-town rivals La Cité Collégiale 2-1 on Wednesday Oct. 10, clinching first place in the East Division. The win secures a bye week during the first round of playoffs.
La Cité netted the first goal off a penalty kick after a Thunder defender was called for a handball while inside the penalty box. The Thunder quickly responded with a goal of their own but it was ruled offside.
“They like to attack on the wing a lot so there wasn’t too much pressure. Our defence is really strong in the air.” said keeper Marco Brundia.
Events took a turn in the second half with the majority of possession and scoring chances belonging to the Thunder.
“I think lady luck helped us out with the first goal. They knocked it in their own net after a good cross, it’s unfortunate for them,” Said head coach Jimmy Zito. “The second one was just a little bit of magic from a set piece. Nelson stepped up and hit the ball right up against the post and it went in the net we got a second goal and a win out of it and luckily the the East division title.”
The win over La Cité grants Algonquin a bye week going into the playoffs.
“We made player adjustments throughout the first half and into the second half. Out of 18 players I think we played 17 players on our roster which shows how deep we are,” said head coach Jimmy Zito. “The biggest thing I think the guys came in with a bit more hunger than La Cité and they took their chances and we were lucky enough get the results.”
The go-ahead goal came in the final minutes of the game as midfielder Nelson Yoseke scored off of a set piece just outside of the goalie’s box. The air was electric at this point as the team celebrated what became the goal which clinched supremacy in the East Division.
“It was an Ottawa derby and were glad that we won. It gives us time to prepare for the playoffs. All of us feel great. We knew we had to step our game up that’s all we needed. We trusted ourselves, we believed ourselves and we knew we couldn’t lose that game,” said midfielder Nelson Yoseke. “The key to victory basically is us, it’s the whole team, it wasn’t one person it was the whole team. We knew it was coming we just had to be patient because if we rush, rush, it wouldn’t of came we just knew what to do.”
The free kick was awarded after handball was called on a La Cité defender.
With this win the Thunder finish with a final record of 5-0-3 and 18 points leaving them one point ahead of second place Seneca.
The battle between Algonquin and Seneca came down to the very end of the regular season. Algonquin finished with a record of 5-0-3 (18 points) to Seneca’s 5-1-2 (17 points) with Algonquin having 13 goals for and five against to Seneca’s 13 goals for and six against.
The Thunder play their first playoff game on Saturday Oct. 20th against Sheridan College at 3 p.m. at The Thunderdome.