University of Calgary Dinos 3-2 York University Lions
Dinosaurs are extinct.
A meteor killed them all millions of years ago.
Yet there was one still sill running, the famous Dino from the University of Calgary, who trotted into Montreal after one of their best-ever seasons of university soccer.
Ok, I’m not talking about the prehistoric animal anymore; rather I speak of the University of Calgary who saw their U Sports championship weekend come to an abrupt end, much like that of their namesake.
Taking on the York University Lions, the Dinos were not expected to make the fifth-place final, and they didn’t, falling 3-2 in a high scoring a snowy soccer affair.
Yet they almost beat the Lions. At the end of the first half, the unranked Dinos had a 1-0 lead on the Lions, who came into the tournament as favourites.
It was clear that the group from suburban Toronto is made of something special, as they were able to rebound from an OUA final loss to the Carleton Ravens, an end to their 52 game win streak, as well as being knocked out of national title contention at the earliest point.
No one knows what went down between halves, but something clicked, as the Lions came back onto the field looking like the premier side that they are.
15 minutes into the second half, York found the equalizing goal from Milan Beader, with the assist coming from 49 sports players to watch for the lions, Omar Marzouck.
Following that goal, the Lions saw the fifth-place game insight. Merci Youma, the hulking third year forward decided he would take matters into his own hands. As he has so many times in his U Sports career, he harnessed his attacking physicality to take on defenders and simply push his way through opponents. What has worked in the past against strong OUA competition worked again, as he was able to take charge of the game and push the Lions to their victory.
“Merci rallied the guys at half time,” said Lion’s head coach Carmine Isacco to 49 Sports after the game, before continuing on to say “ We want to play well every day, we don’t worry about winning streak or anything like thatIt’s a good group of guys.”
Isacco clearly knows what he has in his locker room, given the vents which followed the first 45 minutes.
Yuma’s soccer smarts outthink Albert Einstein. As the European genius has been famously quoted saying “the definition of insanity is trying something twice and expecting the same result.” This is exactly what Yuma did, and he got his usual result- a goal.
He made the score 3-1 in a matter of minutes, but the quality of his goals was outdone by the sheer beauty of Calgary’s second consolation. With hopes of victory vanishing by the second, Derek Brust looped it over the York netminder with a single touch, scoring what will likely be the goal of the tournament.
In the end, the Lions class prevailed, presenting them with the UBC Thunderbirds in the battle for fifth place; a game that could have easily have been the final given the quality that will be on display.
For the Lions, making the fifth-place final is not good enough, as they believe that they are championship material. As for the Dinos, they were just happy to be here at all. No player would ever say that they were not championship calibre, but a quick glance at Calgary’s roster compared to others makes it pretty clear.
49 Sports Player of the Game: Merci Youma (2 goals)
With the Dino’s now extinct the earth enters the next era of its development.
Whoops, the wrong topic.
Calgary will now pack their bags early and fly back out to Alberta, whereas the Lions await the UBC Thunderbirds in Saturday’s fifth-place final match.