PETERBOROUGH – You can call it fate. You can call it destiny. One thing you cannot call it is easy.
Humber men's soccer is a national powerhouse, built on the hard work of its staff, coaches, alumni, and current student-athletes. Sometimes the expectations of perfection can be overwhelming, but in the end, the result is the same: champions.
For the eighth time over the last ten seasons, Humber soccer was crowned the OCAA provincial champions after beating No. 5 Fanshawe Saturday afternoon, 3-0.
The Hawks entered the postseason on its longest winless streak since 1981, stacking the odds and the playoff schedule against them. Facing three of the top-ten teams in the country, the squad rallied together to quiet their doubters, successfully defending their provincial crown.
Finally back to a full roster, Humber opened the match focused. In the second minute, Federico Leal took a free-kick from just outside the 18-yard box that grazed the crossbar, narrowly giving the Hawks an early lead.
The Falcons were an improved team from the 5-0 loss to Humber at the beginning of the year and proved it in the first half. Fanshawe began to dominate possession, but Nicholas Frenati was up to the task, making three important saves to keep the match scoreless at the break.
Less than a minute after the second half began, Andres Sanchez's long ball from half beat the Fanshawe defenders and found the foot of Leaford Allen. Allen controlled the pass and beat Fanshawe keeper Ryan Miners for his second tally of the tournament.
Minutes later Fanshawe responded, creating an open look inside the box. Jonathan Kam turned and fired a shot between two Humber defenders that was saved by Frenati, keeping the Falcons off of the board.
The two late substitutions changed Humber's demeanour, creating more scoring opportunities for the Hawks. In the 81st minute, Kaye beat two Fanshawe defenders in the box, making a perfect pass to Baez to tap-in his first career goal.
Centre-mid Nicholas Machado, one of the most underrated players in the OCAA, was named the championship MVP. Senior Cody Green and keeper Nicholas Frenati were named to the all-tournament team after playing some of the best soccer in their varsity careers.
- The Hawks claimed the 13th OCAA title in program history – the most in the province.
- Humber improves to 13-6 in the OCAA Championship match.
- In his seventh season at the helm, head coach Michael Aquino has won five provincial titles.
- Senior Cody Green was named to the championship all-tournament team for the second consecutive season.
- Humber now has 24 OCAA medals in 32 seasons.
- Nicholas Frenati has recorded four career OCAA clean sheets - one behind Humber legends Eugenio Garro and Alex Pothemont.
- Humber improves to 8-3 all-time against Fanshawe in OCAA postseason play.
Humber men's soccer will head to Oshawa, Ontario to defend its national title beginning Nov. 6. Game times and opponents have yet to be determined.