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    Did Someone Order Drama…

    Courtesy of the OUA

    So it appears that drama for the two OUA Men’s Soccer semi-finals were what everyone was hoping for, and guess what the four teams from York, Ontario Tech, Carleton and Brock delivered just that, nail biting edge of your seat drama, setting up the Championship final on Saturday at 3:00 pm at TAAG Park in Ottawa. So with that being said, now that we have given you a tip of whom is in on at least on one side, let’s take a look at what happened in both games.

    Ontario Tech vs York 7:00 pm @ York Lions Stadium Ontario Tech (8-1-3) 1 @ York (7-2-3) 1 2-4 PK’s

    Courtesy of Ontario Tech Athletics:

    Courtesy of and Ontario Tech Athletics

    Instant Classic is the best way to describe it.

    Those are the only two words that can adequately describe Wednesday’s OUA semi-final between the York University Lions men’s soccer team and the visiting Ontario Tech Ridgebacks.

    Intensity was at its peak – the tension palpable throughout – in front of an raucous crowd at York Lions Stadium, as the Lions were looking to advance to both the OUA championship and the U SPORTS National Men’s Soccer Championships in Sydney NS, for the first time since 2021. 

    The Ontario Tech Ridgebacks men’s soccer team made the short trip out west to the boarder of Vaughan and Toronto, Ontario to face off against the York Lions in the OUA semi-final, but the Ridgebacks came into the match without leading scorer and former York Lions talisman Omar Marzouk, who missed the match due to a broken nose and concussion concerns.
    The Lions finished on top of the OUA West with a record of seven wins, two losses, and three ties. Meanwhile the Ridgebacks were second in the East, only behind Carleton, with a record of eight wins, one loss, and three ties.
    Despite the attacking talents on display, the tight, back and forth game through 90 minutes was held to a 0-0 partially to the battle of goalkeepers, with York’s Alessio Carbone making two saves in penalties, eventually coming out victorious after Ontario Tech’s Kevon Grant (Oshawa, Ont.) overshadowed him through the match with 17 massive stops. 
    However, regulation time would not be played without its fair share of controversy. Abdul Hamad was issued a straight red card very late in the second half meaning the Ridgebacks would enter extra-time with 10 men and Coach Carm Isacco of York was asked to leave by the referee.
    York would capitalize off a free kick late in the second half of extra-time breaking the deadlock at the 110th minute when Zeppieri curled in a free kick from 22 yards out, sneaking the ball into the low corner and beating Grant on the 14th shot on target. 

    As red smoke bombs covered the York Lions Stadium stands in celebration, Zeppieri took off his shirt in jubilation, earning himself a second yellow card and a red card in a comedic manner, putting York down to 10 men and ensuring he missed the final. And then the fun began as York head coach Carmine Isacco also earned himself a sending-off and OUA Final suspension after reprimanding Zeppieri as he argued with the match official Fabrizio Stasolla.

    It appeared that York had booked their ticket to the OUA finals. However, Ontario Tech would capitalize on one of their own with Carlos Edic (Toronto, Ont.) tapping in a loose ball in front with only minutes to spare.

    Here’s the breakdown:

    • The Lions carried much of the attack through the first 20 minutes of play, including a great look from Christian Zeppieri in the opening minute and change that was denied by Ridgebacks keeper Kevon Grant.
    • The Lions best chance of the first half came off a solid three-man game worked by the Lions down low, but Tyler Attardo’s shot was stopped by Grant. The teams remained scoreless throughout the opening 45 minutes
    • The second half played out more evenly matched in terms of possession, but the Lions had the vast majority of the chances. One from looks was from Attardo, but a kick save by Grant kept the Lions off the board
    • Then, in stoppage time, Matthew Mollicola curled a shot on target from well outside the box. It looked destined for the top corner, but Grant somehow got his finger on it to send the ball over the bar and the match to extra time.
    • In the early moments of stoppage time, a through ball found the foot of Attardo, but Grant made the stop on a ball that was eventually called back for offside.
    • Late in the second half of extra time, newly-minted OUA West MVP Christian Zeppieri was fouled just outside the box, giving the Lions a free kick from prime scoring territory. Zeppieri promptly stepped up and curled a shot inside the near post past the reach of Grant and, so it seemed, locked the Lions into the OUA championship and U SPORTS championship in one magical moment.
    • However, the visiting Ridgebacks came back down the pitch moments later and, on a long ball that appeared to be handled by Carbone, the ball was pried from his grasp and put home by Alex Irwin to tie it with less than a minute to go in added time to send the game to penalties.
    • The Lions Isaac Bradbury put the first penalty past Grant. They would get a stop from Carbone on the Ridgebacks first penalty, followed by a goal from Mollicola.
    • After the Ridgebacks made it 2-1 in penalties, the teams traded goals – the Lions coming from Jaytin Pabla – to make it 3-2 in favour of York. After Attardo scored to make it 4-2, the Ridgebacks needed to score to keep it going, but Carbone made the save, diving to his right, and the Lions took the game, winning 4-2 on penalties.

    Courtesy of York Lions Athletics:

    With the win, the Lions advance to the OUA championship at Carleton against the Ravens on Saturday, while simultaneously punching their ticket to the 2023 U SPORTS championships in Sydney, N.S., returning to the tournament for the first time since 2021.

    Brock vs. Carleton 6:30 pm @ MNP Park Brock (7-3-2) 1 @ Carleton (10-1-1) 1 3-4 PK’s

    Ottawa , ON - Ontario University Athletics Men's Soccer Round 2 Playoff game between the Brock Badgers and the Carleton Ravens held on Nov 01, 2023 at TAAG Park at Carleton University. 
Photo: Marc Lafleur / Carleton Ravens
    Courtesy of Brock Athletics:

    The following is courtesy of Brock Athletics and Carleton Athletics

    The Carleton Ravens are off to the U SPORTS National Championships after a thrilling victory in penalty kicks Wednesday night.

    With the win the Ravens will now host the York Lions, who also advanced on penalties, at TAAG Park on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

    The Brock Badgers men’s soccer team took on the Carleton Ravens in the OUA semifinals, their first appearance since 2006.

    It was a great effort from the Badgers in Ottawa, but the Ravens took the contest on penalties 4-3, winning the game by a final score of 2-1. 

    The Badgers opened the scoring in the 27th minute as a corner kick from Luca Danesi soared over multiple players including Carleton’s goalkeeper Tyler David. Defender Connor Carroll was at the right post where the ball ended up and tapped it in for the first goal of the contest.  

    Brock goalkeeper Taylor Miskolczi made his best save of the half as Carleton had a great chance in stoppage time off a redirected free kick. The stop kept the game at 1-0 in favour of the Badger as the two teams headed to halftime.  

    The Ravens opened the scoring quickly in the second half, when Carleton controversially tied the match in the 53rd minute after pushing players forward and overloading Brock’s defensive responsibilities. Luca Ragagnin, Brock’s captain and veteran centreback, committed a foul on Daniel Assaf, who hit the deck, earning his side a penalty kick just six minutes into the frame. The Ravens’ premier scorer Luca Piccioli stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake beating the Badgers keeper low and to the left.

    The two teams would exchange opportunities for the rest of the half, but with the majority of possession in the middle of the park the half would end tied at one.

    Badgers settle for draw against No. 10 Western Mustangs ...
    Courtesy of Brock Athletics:

    The Ravens kept pressuring after the goal, but the Badgers were up to the task. Michael Solomon sent in a free kick in the 67th minute but David turned it away to keep things tied.  

    In the 84th minute, with Miskolczi off his line, the Ravens had a wide-open net, but the shot from Mohamed Bouzidi sailed high, keeping things tied at 1-1.  

    Despite some back-and-forth action, no team was able to get the go-ahead goal and the game went into extra time.  Both teams traded chances with the Badgers’ best opportunity coming off a cheeky ball put directly on goal to open the second half of the overtime. With neither team breaking the deadlock the game headed to penalty kicks at TAAG Park.

    The first 15 minutes of extra time saw neither squad gain a true advantage as the game remained deadlocked. After over two hours of play, the score remained tied at one. 

    Conrad Czarnecki and Michael Fernandez scored the first two penalty kicks for the Badgers which was answered by the Ravens.  

    Saves from David on the next two Badgers’ kicks gave the Ravens the advantage. The Ravens only scored one of their next two as Miskolczi made a huge two-hand save to keep the Badgers’ hopes alive. 

    Badgers’ goal scoring leader Marc Iantomasi came up with the Badgers down 3-2 on penalties in a must score situation. The fifth-year winger put the ball just under the crossbar to even things up. 

    The Ravens were denied on their next kick as Miskolczi dove to his right for the save, sending the game into sudden death penalty kicks. 

    A Badgers’ miss was contrasted by a goal from Carleton’s quarterfinal hero, Eric Yoseke, who made no mistake tucking the ball to the bottom left for the victory.

    With the win the Ravens will now host York, who advanced with a victory in penalties over Ontario Tech, in the OUA Championship Game at TAAG Park in Ottawa, this Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.

    The Ravens have also qualified for a spot at the 2023 U SPORTS National Championships being hosted by Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia.


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