CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The Langara Falcons were able to deviate the wind a bit better than the NAIT Ooks as they defeated them 3-2 in the 5th/6th place game of the CCAA Men's Soccer National Championship.
On a day where the wind was a major factor, the Ooks came out flying. With the wind at their back, Cristian Lima opened up the scoring in the 6th minute followed up shortly after by Matt Zima adding another to give NAIT and early 2-0 lead. The Langara Falcons were able to battle back and muster one goal before the half to make it a 2-1 lead heading into halftime.
In the second half, the wind seemed to pick up and shift directly against the Ooks making it tough for to advance the ball. The Falcons would take advantage as they score two quick goals to take a 3-2 lead. NAIT desperately tried to tie the game, finding different ways to advance the ball but the Falcons were able to cling on to the lead taking the match, claiming 5th place in the CCAA, with the NAIT Ooks finishing in 6th.
Overall the Ooks placing didn't necessarily show how they performed in the tournament. A short defensive lapse in the 90th minute of the gold medal semi-final followed up by a stellar save in penalty kicks by the Humber Hawks keeper, led to the Ooks going down a tough road to a bronze medal as opposed to having Friday off and competing for gold on Saturday. In the Bronze semi-final, a few missed opportunities in the first half resulted in a loss to the Capilano Blues forcing NAIT to compete in the 5th/6th place game, where the Langara Falcons would come out on top in a back and forth game.
"It was a great year. From going undefeated in our conference, to being seconds away from going to the national championship gold medal game, with 13 first-year student-athletes, I can't complain. This is one of the best team's we've ever had. Unfortunately, we didn't get the result we wanted, but this just makes us hungrier for next season.
This marks the end of the 2018 season for the Ooks, they have officially finished 6th in the nation, after earning a gold medal in the ACAC following an undefeated regular season with a 9-0-1 regular season record. At the CCAA Championship closing ceremony, the NAIT Ooks were awarded the Exemplary Leadership Award, while Matt McLean was named to the tournament Al-Star Team
To see full results from the 2018 CCAA Men's Soccer Nationa Championship visit - CCAA Championship Website