The opening two weeks for the Thunder men’s soccer team were an undeniable success as the squad powered their way through three convincing victories.
But winning, and winning often, is nothing new for the Thunder. They’ve been recording near-perfect seasons for the past five years. In fact, their last regular season loss came on Oct. 2, 2010.
A hot streak right out of the gate is never taken for granted, though.
“It’s extremely important,” said fourth-year defender Isaac Johnson. “It shows that the team has something going for us and that we have more to build off of. Hopefully we can progress more after (this week).”
Last year, after going 7-0-0 during the regular season, the Thunder marched to the finals and defeated Humber 1-0 to claim OCAA gold. But after their poor 1-3 performance at nationals, Algonquin finished on a low note.
“The objective is to do better than last year,” said Johnson. “We want a national final. We want a national gold.”
To do that, it means putting in the hours at practice, making sure tactics and technique are down to a science.
“We’re working on our high press,” said Johnson. “We want to get the ball back from the other team as quick as possible and then put the ball in the back of the net.”
And it seems that their strategy is working quite proficiently.
After one week, the Thunder sit atop the league with the best goal differential, scoring 12 and conceding none.
With nearly half of Algonquin’s goals, rookie striker Marco Natoli is fitting in rather well in his first season with the Thunder.
“The team works hard,” said Natoli. “They work hard to get me the ball and my job is just to put it in the net.”
And he’s done just that. The owner of five goals already, Natoli is currently the leading scorer in the OCAA.
It’s hard to find an issue with the Thunder’s showing so far, but if there was to be any concern whatsoever, it could possibly stem from their lack of discipline. Algonquin already have a total of 10 cards, one of them a red given out to Archibald Hamish McRae after a fight broke out near the end of the season opener on Sept. 12.
But the team isn’t too worried.
“It’s just part of the game,” said Natoli. “I mean, the (season’s) first game, the ref was handing out cards for everything. I think we’ll be fine.”
With yet another winning season on the horizon, the Thunder are looking much more than fine