C/O McMaster Sports
As the men’s soccer team wraps up their season, there’s plenty to look forward to.
After a very exciting season, the men’s soccer team has a lot to look forward to. Following a long COVID-19 break that lasted a year and a half, the Marauders managed to qualify for the Ontario University Athletics playoffs, which ended in an unfortunate loss against the Carleton Ravens, the defending champions.
Not only did the Marauders achieve strong results in the regular season, but three members of the squad would win national awards at the annual All-Canadian Gala, which are presented to the best players from around the league.
Kovacevic would be named the OUA Central Player of The Year and an OUA Central All-Star alongside his teammate Cheikh Tchouambou Youmbi who was also named an All-Star and the OUA Central Community Award Winner. Mohamed Al-Shakman would bring home the OUA Central Rookie of The Year award and coach Dino Perri would receive the OUA Central Coach of The Year award to complete a very successful gala.
Over the course of the season the Marauders had won six, drawn two and lost three games. The wins came against Algoma Thunderbirds, Laurentian Voyageurs, UofT Blues and Nipissing Lakers while the two losses came against Ryerson Rams and the Voyageurs (in their second game).
Of the 33 goals that the Marauders scored during the regular season, a whopping 13 were from the striker Dusan Kovacevic. The immaculate teamwork from the Marauders throughout the season netted various awards for their players from the OUA this season, including Kovacevic winning the OUA player of the month award for his impressive goal scoring run.
However, the run does not end there. While the Marauders may have finished their season with a disappointing defeat to the reigning champions, there is still a lot more to play for over the next couple of seasons.
Alexandre Boue, a fourth-year varsity soccer player, shared his thoughts on the season and how everyone on the team felt about the results.
“Generally speaking, there’s a lot of mixed emotions among the team right now. Throughout the regular season we were in such a good position and have hoped that we would make it far into the playoffs. We played really well against big teams such as U of T and have shown a lot of character throughout,” said Boue.
However, Boue did express his disappointment at not making it past the quarter finals of the OUA playoffs, in which the Marauders fell to the Carleton Ravens three to one.
“Typically, you’d expect us to make it really far. We as a team were delighted to make it to the play-offs but we were really unfortunate with the opponent we got in the very first game. The ravens are defending champions and we knew that the matchup against them would be very difficult. It was a shame because the regular season went really well for us and I know that we deserved more than just the quarter finals,” explained Boue.
Although Boue did show his dissatisfaction with the early exit, he did express that the Marauders have done so much to build the high standards among the team.
“This dissatisfaction does show that the whole program has worked. It does show you that the sports department here at Mac put a lot of effort into the soccer team, which is represented through the results over the years. They really have made the Marauders a solid name in Ontario soccer and that’s why we have such high expectations every season,” said Boue.
“The current team that we have is extremely strong. We’ve got a few OUA all stars which just shows how good we are quality wise. However, many of them had their last eligible year this season, so they won’t be able to play again. Although many are not going to continue, I am very confident that the new players that come our way will help us do better than this season.” said Boue.
Although McMaster failed to make it to nationals this year, there is still hope that the Marauders will challenge for the title next year. This season not only featured numerous all stars on the team, but also made it evident that there was an atmosphere and culture that grew with the team in every game.