Men’s soccer nationals open with a bang

2014 CCAA Men's Soccer Championship Logo


The No. 1 team in the nation, Algonquin Thunder (1-0 CCAA) ran riot in the opening game of the men’s soccer nationals, scoring seven goals to win 7-0 against the eighth-ranked Keyano Huskies (0-1 CCAA).

For most of the teams in the tournament it is a long trip to southern Ontario. Algonquin had a small but feisty travelling contingent on hand to support them. Singing loudly just before kickoff, you could feel the energy from the Thunder fans pour onto the field.

The support spurred Algonquin on right from the start. They opened the scoring within the first two minutes of the game. The goal gave a shot of confidence for the Thunder and foreshadowed how the game was to play out.


After the early Thunder goal they kept applying pressure on the Huskies backline. Keyano was pinned back in its own zone for much of the first half and were forced to play a strictly counter attacking game.

Thunder head coach Mike Gagliano could be heard organizing his team from the sideline and it paid dividends. Algonquin’s defence was pushed up to the half way line of the field, only allowing the odd Huskie foray into the attacking third.

Although the Huskies were repelling wave after wave of Thunder pressure the play came to a head in the first half, five minutes from time. A beautiful pass led to a breakaway for the Thunder, only to have a collision between the Algonquin forward and Huskie goalkeeper Luke Arthur.

The No. 1 goalkeeper for Keyano was the one bright light on the field for the Huskies, showcasing his bravery in many plays, including one when he charged out for the ball and snapped it up off the toe of a Thunder forward to his own detriment. Like any goalkeeper worth his salt, he got up from the crunching tackle and played the rest of the game.

Although Algonquin kept applying pressure they were only up by one goal going into the final five minutes of the first half. That was to change in the 44th minute when the Thunder were awarded a penalty for a hard tackle in the box by the Huskies. Abe Kamara stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball into the left hand corner to make it 2-0 Thunder, just before half-time.

With the two-goal lead and all the momentum with Algonquin, Gagliano decided to bring on two forwards, Trevor Turner and Kishoyian Kipusi. With more emphasis on attacking and less on defence from the Thunder, Keyano grew in confidence and begun knocking the ball around and creating chances.

The second half debutantes had something to say about that however. Turner, a strong target man, defended well from the front. He was winning tackles around the Huskie 18-yard box setting up Kipusi to make it 3-0 Thunder, in the 59th minute of play. That goal was only the beginning for the striking duo who had a prolific second half.

Kipusi would go on to score three more times in the 72nd, 80th and 89th minutes of play, single handily giving the Thunder a 6-0 lead, with Turner getting the final assist or a touch on the ball in every instance. The rout was well and truly on. Not to be left out of the fun, Turner slotted home a goal in added time to make it 7-0.

Algonquin’s man of the match was No. 27 Kishoyian Kipusi, with four goals to his name. Keyano’s man of the match was goalkeeper Luke Arthur, he saved many shots, showing bravery and class all the way to the final minute.

Algonquin Thunder advances to the semi-final championship and will play the VIU Mariners Thursday, Nov. 6  at 3 p.m. The Keyano Huskies now move to the bronze medal bracket and will face the Holland Hurricanes the same day at 10 a.m.