It’s one thing to lose. It’s another thing to lose in the final minutes of the second overtime. And it’s almost inconceivable to lose and yet have your goaltender walk away with MVP honours.
For the men’s soccer team, it was just that kind of weekend. After a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Laurier Saturday, in which U of T keeper Yuri Elkaim won MVP honors, the Blues rallied to defeat Laurentian 2-1 at Sunday’s consolation final.
“It was a little downer after yesterday’s huge game” said Blues head coach Jim Lefkos about Sunday’s win. “It was tough even to play this game.”
Despite the letdown, Toronto stormed out of the gate upon the opening whistle, keeping the ball in Laurentian’s end with nine scoring chances against their opponents’ measly two.
Leading the way for Toronto was third-year forward and game MVP Foad Mashayekhi. Mashayekhi was the author of Toronto’s only two goals of Sunday’s game, both of which came in the first half and were the result of well executed passing attacks.
“Both teams weren’t playing so hard, so it was easier to attack” explained Mashayekhi of his on field exploits. “I like to run a lot and move around and that’s the way I play.”
Toronto’s only miscue occurred late in the first half when Laurentian defenseman Jonathan Dagostino’s free kick from some 20 yards out, a usually routine save, squeaked through the hands of shocked Toronto goaltender Robert Bucciarelli.
Second half action on Sunday resembled a pick-up game more than an intercollegiate one. The mood became more celebratory and loose natured as the clock ticked closer to the game’s eventual end.
Sunday’s victory marked the end of what was another strong season for men’s soccer. Having finished the season with an overall record of 9-3-2 (8-2-2 in regular season) and first place OUA’s Central/North division, Toronto continued its history of competitive consistency.
“It was a successful season on and off the field. We bonded together as a team and did a lot of good things. I will not let one game get in the way of it,” said Lefkos.