Chris Granicolo, Howl Staff
For the first time in our college’s 38 year history, the lads of Woodsworth have been crowned intramural soccer champions. An exhilarating final against Pharmacy ended in an epic 2-1 Wolfpack triumph. A fitting end for a team that only got better as the season carried on.
Captain Camacho unveiled a 4-1-4-1 formation at the start of the match, and this proved to work early on as Woodsworth out-chanced Pharmacy in the first half and the Woodsworth defense played a simple, yet effective formation. Led by Nordo Gooden in mid-field, Woodsworth peppered the opposing net-minder with consistent volleys from afar but could not find the back of the net in the first half. An aggressive tackle by a Pharmacy player near the Pharmacy 18 yard box was punished with an instant red-card midway through the half. Advantage Woodsworth, as Pharmacy would carry on the rest of the match with only 10 men.
The Wolfpack failed to challenge the Pharmacy opposition aggressively in the first-half. This lack of effort was the main point addressed at the half-time break. With the Championship on the line, and the stakes clearly the highest they had been all season, Woodsworth responded with great enthusiasm in the second half.
An early defensive gaff by Pharmacy led Woodsworth forward Lars Fonteyne to capitalize on the fortuitous turnover and hammer home an emphatic strike into the far right corner of the Pharmacy goal. Euphoric cheers echoed throughout the Varsity Dome as the Wolfpack drew first blood. Great defensive coverage by the Woodsworth centre, right and left backs prevented Pharmacy from getting any serious chances in the second half.
Despite any clear shots on goal, Woodsworth keeper Gustav Meuller had another excellent showing, dictating the pace of play from the back end with his darting runs to challenge any Pharmacy strikers moving up the left or right sides. Dorin Manase struck home Woodsworth’s second tally of the match, much to the joy of the fans in attendance.
The lads played a different game in the second half, compared to the first half. Mid-fielder Amir Adawi was relentless in his hustle and determination, while the always-astute Sam Lee had another strong showing playing right-mid.
A Pharmacy player broke free of Woodsworth’s rock-solid defense and hammered home a strike with about 5 minutes left on the clock. Woodsworth, not suffering from victory disease, kept their composure for the remaining minutes and fended off the final Pharmacy onslaught. The official blew the final whistle and Woodsworth was finally crowned champion!
The boys met in the centre for a victorious cheer and celebration, greeted by the Pharmacy players who congratulated us on the victory and showed much more class than our Chestnut opponents from the semi-final.
After posing with the league commissioner in front of the ancient FA Cup, Woodsworth was officially crowned champion for the Fall 2011 season. The victory is a testament to the will and determination of our roster. After an early 1-0 setback against Chestnut in the regular season, Woodsworth has gone undefeated. Knocking off the top-ranked teams of University College and Pharmacy in the process, this victory did not come easy for the boys in blue.
In an ironic twist of fate, the boys managed to be victorious without having their official team jerseys all season. This will without question change for the upcoming winter indoor season (*cough* Chad *cough*). In a much more expanded league, rumoured to be 32 teams strong, Woodsworth will have its work cut out for itself in the winter months when they look to defend their crown.
Pending any unforeseen absences, the roster will largely be intact for the winter season. With a resilient keeper, brick wall-like defending, and magician-like forwards, Woodsworth should have no issue in continuing their newfound sense of footballing mastery over their rival colleges and faculty in the upcoming season.
Cheers to the lads for a great season!