Upper Canada College captured its second Canadian Association of Independent Schools Senior Boys’ Soccer Tournament title in three years recently.
The team members and coaches Premek Hamr and Rich Turner travelled to Vancouver, where the tournament was hosted by St. George’s School, and had time to visit the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC), take a rain forest hike and get in a practice before play got underway on Oct. 12.
The Blues’ first game was played in cool, wet conditions at UBC against the host school’s second team, which was a late addition after another team dropped out. UCC emerged with a 6-0 win. The skies cleared later in the day as the Blues played a tougher opponent, Lower Canada College, and came away with a 1-0 victory.
UCC’s final round robin game was on Thursday morning, and it turned into a one-sided 10-0 rout of The York School. After going undefeated in pool play, the Blues were matched against The Crescent School in the Gold Division quarter-final. UCC won 3-1, putting it in the Saturday semi-final against the host school’s first team.
It was a tight match and things weren’t made easier after a UCC player was ejected after being shown two yellow cards, so the team had to play with 10 athletes compared to their opponent’s 11 for three quarters of the game after taking an early 2-1 lead. The Blues played a more defensive game in the second half and were still on the positive end of the 2-1 score when the final whistle blew.
Appleby College was the opponent in the final that afternoon after it defeated St. Andrew’s College in its semi-final match. After Appleby hit two goal posts, the Blues were the first to put a ball behind a goalkeeper in the 31st minute. UCC added two more goals in the second half and won the game, and its 10th national championship, by a score of 3-0.
UCC’s Oscar Brown scored nine goals in the tournament and was voted the most valuable player of the final by the coaches of all the competing teams. Team awards were also given out, and the defensive players of the tournament were Mark Yatchew and Jeremy Zhang. Sean Langlois was the offensive player and most valuable player of the tournament after scoring seven goals, including five in the knockout rounds.
A more detailed account of the tournament, written by coaches Hamr and Turner, can be found here.