The 2000 women's soccer program accomplished something no other female team sport - volleyball, soccer or basketball - at Humber had ever accomplished before. After rolling through the OCAA unbeaten, the Hawks went to nationals to make history.
A 'BRONZE TALE' FOR THE HAWKS
November 16, 2000
by John Edwards
For the first time in Humber women's soccer history, the Lady Hawks brought home some hardware at the National stage.
The Hawks capped off their season with a bronze medal victory at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association championships in Vancouver, B.C. last week.
The Hawks defeated the Mount Royal Cougars 1-0 in the bronze medal match ending their outdoor season on a high note.
The first half was evenly played, with both sides getting several scoring opportunities.
The game was deadlocked until early in the second half when Hawks forward Filomena Aprile knocked a loose ball into the Cougars net to clinch the victory for Humber.
Co-coaches Vince Pileggi and Mauro Ongaro have guided the Lady Hawks to back-to-back National appearances.
"When you win a medal at the National level, that's truly special. We are going to look at this as the biggest achievement we've had to date," said Pileggi.
Hawks midfielder and Co-captain Adriana Cataldo was happy with the victory in the game.
"The game could have gone either way," said the tournament all-star. "We played hard and with heart, but luck was on our side, so we won."
Humber midfielder Rosa Adriano was named MVP of the bronze medal match.
"If there were any game, I would want to be named MVP in; this was it. This is what I got, and I am grateful for it," Adriano said.
The Hawks qualified for the medal round with a 6-1 victory over the University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves.
Hawks midfield mainstay and veteran, Claudia Marmo, was happy with Hawks' performance.
"I thought we played our game," said the tournament all star. "We played the ball on the ground and completed our passes. We didn't communicate well out there, but we passed well."
Hawks' striker and CCAA player of the year Joanna Vitale blew past the Seawolves defence and put a shot into the corner past goalkeeper Jennifer Pade to score the opening goal for the Hawks. Vitale would add another marker in the second half.
Forward Allison Read netted two goals including a one-timer off of a Lucia Sinisi pass to give the Hawks a comfortable two-goal cushion.
Aprile and Cataldo rounded out the scoring for the Hawks. The Seawolves got on the board late in the second half when Julie Goodwin netted one for the Seawolves.
Cataldo was named MVP of the match but does not take all the credit for the honour.
"If there was an award for a whole team, I think we would get it. Individually we all played well, so I share it with everybody," said Cataldo.
The Hawks' gold medal hopes ended in their first game with the eventual gold medallists the Capilano College Blues. The Hawks would fall to the Blues 2-1 in a sudden-death extra time thriller. Midfielder Lucia Sinisi flew down the right side of the pitch, cut into the middle and put a low shot past Capilano goalkeeper Christina D'Andrea to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead at the nine-minute mark of the opening half.
The home side would knot the game at one on a Clara McLoughlin marker late in the first half. Both sides could not capitalize on numerous scoring opportunities in the second half, and as a result, the game went into sudden death overtime. The Hawks had a glorious chance to clinch the game when Vitale was hauled down inside the box giving Humber a penalty kick.
Aprile, who was playing in her final Humber tournament, put the ball over the crossbar.
Ongaro said he was confident with the decision of Aprile to take the crucial penalty kick in extra time.
"There are about four girls, who know and are confident over the course of the game to take it, and Filomena was one of them," Ongaro said. "She stepped up, and it happens to the best players in the world. You can't second guess yourself; it can happen to anybody. We were disappointed with the result, but not with the decision the girls made."
Capilano would clinch the victory on a free kick that went off the head of a Hawks defender into their own goal. Cataldo felt the Hawks played well but lacked an important element in the game.
“I know we should have won this game, I know we are a much better team than B.C. We were unlucky, and luck wasn't on our side today at all," Cataldo added.
After an undefeated regular season and a second straight provincial championship, Pileggi is looking to next year in hopes of bringing home the National gold.
"I think this is a learning experience for us. We have to go back now and realize that we can compete at this level and we have to ensure we stay focused and hope that a lot of girls will want to come back and try to win the National championship next year," said Pileggi, who along with Ongaro, was nominated for the CCAA coach-of-the-year award.
Ongaro said he and Pileggi were very proud of the team and felt the bronze medal is a tremendous accomplishment.
"It tells us that the program is on the right track. It gives us a good gauge of where we stand right now, and it gives us more motivation to get better and improve," Ongaro said.