Upper Canada College’s varsity soccer team captured its ninth Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association championship since 2004 and capped off an undefeated season with a 2-1 victory over St. Michael’s College School on Nov. 10.
The Blues hosted the final game on a rainy and blustery afternoon and found themselves down by a goal just four minutes in after a superb shot from the left side which gave goalkeeper Simon Broer no chance as it lodged in the top right corner.
The Blues were missing vice-captain and sweeper Mattia Colangelo, who suffered a fractured collarbone in the semi-final. But the Blues defense, led by veteran centre back Darwin Jimal, withstood the St. Mike’s attack until the 22nd minute when the team was rewarded with a penalty shot after a UCC shot struck the hand of a St. Mike’s defender. Veteran centre midfielder Djordje Todorovic coolly converted the penalty kick and tied the score.
The Blues pressed on and, after a scramble in the St. Mike’s area that caught its goalie out of position, Kal Shaw let a shot fly that appeared to be a sure goal — only to have a St. Mike’s defender block it with a flying back-heel. The two teams exchanged more chances, with St. Mike’s hitting a goalpost with 10 minutes left in the half and the Blues hitting the bar just before halftime.
Veteran goalie Seb David replaced a frozen and embattled Broer, who made several key saves, to start the second half. The play continued to be gritty and spirited in the driving rain and cold, and UCC midfielder Max Taylor and a St. Mike’s defender were ejected after receiving red cards following an altercation.
With 25 minutes to go, after another period of sustained pressure from UCC, Todorovic blasted a low, hard shot that the St. Mike’s keeper got both hands on, but it slipped through his grip and had just enough power left to dribble into the net and become the game-winning goal.