Men’s go 3-0-1, establish early bitter rivalry
By: Alex Quevillon and Steven Smeall
It’s hard to imagine a tie soccer match being a disappointment, but coming off a 2012 East Division title, the Algonquin men’s soccer squad was looking to have a perfect season.
A 1-1 draw with the Centennial Colts, the only other undefeated team in the East Division, wasn’t what they had in mind when they took the pitch on Sept. 22.
“Obviously it was a shock,” said star forward and co-leading scorer Abraham Kamara. “We came here to win and we were confident that we had a good enough team to beat this team.”
“I hope we get to play them again in Nationals if we get to Nationals, because I want revenge on them.”
Questionable officiating made for a fairly significant storyline this past weekend, but the players were doing their best to avoid letting it get to them.
“Winning the game or losing the game doesn’t have to do with the ref,” said Kamara. “If you put a ball in the back of the net, the ref doesn’t have to do much.”
Putting the ball in the net hasn’t been a problem for Kamara who leads the team with three goals.
“He’s a player who, last year, was never really healthy,” said head coach Jimmy Zito. “This year, now that he’s healthy, he’s putting up a better performance.
It took less than one half of action for Kamara to match his previous season’s goal total of two. Forward Tim Campos scored ten minutes into Algonquin’s opening game against
La Cité collégiale before Kamara netted two, giving the Thunder an early 3-0 lead.
His first goal was a highlight reel marker, losing three defenders before tucking it inside the post, before scoring his second on a penalty kick less than two minutes later.
Campos added another late in the first half, while keeper Simon Brown stopped a penalty to preserve the clean sheet. Forward Deval Enang and midfielder Joel Kabula piled on in the second half with a pair of late goals.
The victory had potential to be a costly one. Midfielder Ryan Brosseau left the pitch, unable to put pressure on his injured leg, after a knee-on-knee collision with La Cité’s Ousamma Slimani.
Slimani was assessed a yellow card on the play. Brosseau was back in the lineup for the Thunder’s next match.
On Sept. 14, Algonquin faced a bit of adversity as they played a stronger team in Seneca, having to play out the final minutes without Kamara.
Kamara had opened up the scoring for the Thunder when his shot found the back of the net off a penalty in the 44th minute.
Then, the forward was given two yellow cards, resulting in a red. Even with only 10 men on the field, the Thunder managed to get the winning goal from midfielder Alex Asmis in the 84th minute.
“They did very well, played well defensively, and they scored off a set piece,” said Zito.
“We knew what we were in for coming in. We’ve been playing each other for the last 10 years and it’s never been a one-sided game.”
George Brown visited Thunder Yards on Sept. 21 but proved not to be much of a challenge for the Thunder, who cruised their way to a 2-0 victory. Campos scored his third goal of the campaign, tying Kamara, two minutes into the second half.
Thunder goaltender Simon Brown took a fall in the first half and looked to be seriously injured, but got back up after a few minutes, remaining in the game despite showing he was still in pain.
Brown still seemed to be favouring his shoulder in the draw with Centennial, but that wasn’t going to stop him from playing the other top team in the division.
The 1-1 tie cost both teams their perfect records in a very frustrating bout for both sides.
Centennial leads the division having played, and won, one more game than Algonquin.
With Kamara and Campos providing a lethal one-two punch up front, and Simon Brown only allowing two goals to this point, Algonquin is destined to see another undefeated season.
Zito is just hoping to make a splash in the post-season having lost last season to Sheridan.
“We want to get ourselves into the Provincials,” said the coach. “Once you get there, or the national level, anything can happen.”
Kamara mirrored his coach’s statement.
“I’m here helping my team to hopefully win Provincials and win Nationals with them.”