Sports

Niagara swept on road by Humber

By Bernd Franke, The Tribune

Niagara College found out Tuesday that Canada’s high fliers in men’s college soccer, the Humber Hawks, once again are proving difficult to clip.

 

The Knights, seeking their second win in a row after opening the season with a loss, dropped a 2-1 decision to the defending national champions in Toronto.

Humber netted goals 20 and 40 minutes into the match to improve to 3-0 in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) league play, tops in the Central Region.

Keith Makubuya of St. Catharines connected on a penalty kick for Niagara at the 43rd minute mark to round out the scoring. It was the seventh goal of the St. Francis graduate’s college career, moving him into third place between Matt Miedema, 10 goals; and Carlos Williams, nine.

Another standout for the Knights in the loss was goalkeeper Sam Robson, who recorded 12 saves.

Niagara head coach Frank DeChellis was pleased with his team’s performance against a Humber program that has been a provincial powerhouse, winning five championships in the past six seasons.

“The technical, tactical and competitive levels we displayed against the defending champs demonstrated that we can compete with the best,” he said. “The score was not to our liking, but our coaching staff took a lot of information from that match.”

Niagara returns to the pitch Sunday for a home game against the 1-1 Sheridan Bruins. Kickoff at Youngs Sportsplex on River Road in Welland is set for 8 p.m.

Hawks 4, Knights 1

At Toronto, Humber jumped out to an early lead against visiting Niagara in women’s college soccer, scoring two goals within a four-minute span, and added two insurance markers in the second half to improve to 3-0.

Momentum from Julia Pantusa’s goal for the Knights at the 43-minute was short-lived, with Humber scoring in the first and final minutes of the final half.

DeChellis, also head coach of Niagara’s women’s program, praised Brittany Haanappel’s 10-save performance.

“Brittany turned in one of the strongest goalkeeping performances by a Knights keeper in recent memory,” he said. “Her athleticism and game smarts complement her technique in handling different situations, all of which she demonstrated tonight.”

Niagara puts its 1-1-1 record on the line in a home game Sunday against 2-0 Sheridan. Action gets underway at 6 p.m. at Youngs Sportsplex.

Athletes of the week

Welland Centennial Secondary School graduate Kara Latham is Niagara College’s top female athlete for the week ending Sunday.

The Welland native, who is in her first year in the pre-health sciences program at the college’s main campus in Welland, netted the Knights’ only goal in a 1-1 tie with the University of Toronto-Mississauga (UTM) Eagles in women’s soccer.

Andrew Currie, a third-year fitness and health promotion major from Woodstock, was male athlete of the week after scoring the first goal of his college soccer career in a 2-0 victory over UTM.

Welland’s Jacob Therrien also scored for the Knights, while Niagara Falls’ Fiore Costa earned the shutout.

BFranke@postmedia.com

 

 



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