Humberside starts off slow against Phoenix, winning 4-1
With the playoffs just around the corner, being down 1-0 in their last regular season match was a shock to the system for Humberside’s soccer side.
The upstart to Humberside reaching their 4-2 record was College Français Phoenix who hopped out to an early lead Oct. 18 thanks to a Benjamin Jones’ goal off a Huskies’ error.
Aside from a brief lack of acuity, the Maroon and Grey’s coach, Rob Tallevi, admitted it was a slow first half when it came to offence.
“We made one mistake and they capitalized but for most of the first half we still controlled the play,” he said. “We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
Still, his defence anchored by Scott Johnston and Jack Crawford and goalie Jonah Bain have held opponents to a mere four goals in six games.
Johnston and company were motivated during the halftime to treat their match like a playoff bout.
“The first half was rough, you can’t really play around on the field,” he said. “We just got down a goal and we had an inspiring speech from our coach.”
It worked, as Humberside strikers Ethan Gans and Davis Hocking pocketed two goals each, resulting in a 4-1 final.
“What we said at the half was for the second part of the first half, we played well but we still needed to keep putting on the pressure and keep it simple,” Tallevi said. “Basically I said, ‘We’re down 1-0, we’ve got playoffs next week, let’s try and show some gumption and fight back’.”
A change in tactics leading to more forward passing and less touch time caught the Phoenix off-guard, much to the chagrin of coach Abdellah Saada.
“We were playing the game in the first and it went well (but) the second half they changed their system to long balls, and that helped them,” he said. “That didn’t help us to finish the game how we started.
“It’s a good lesson for us, as the playoffs start (Oct. 24).”
Humberside is also preparing for the Tier 1 playoffs. Both Western Tech and Jarvis have gone undefeated. East York, Marc Garneau and College Français all have one loss each.
Tallevi is aware of the Huskies middle-of-the-pack placing, and is optimistic.
Johnston shares that sentiment, adding there is greenspace to improve on.
“I think we have a pretty good team,” he said. “We just have to get into position all right — everybody all sorted out — and make sure everybody gets the right amount of playing time.”