‘Worst performance’ threatens men’s soccer playoff hopes

October 18, 2008 by  

The Eagles found themselves in tough against the previously winless Heat Saturday, which could spike their playoff hopes. (David Pires photo)

The Eagles found themselves in tough against the previously winless Heat Saturday, which could spike their playoff hopes. (David Pires photo)

The Kwantlen Eagles men’s soccer team is hanging on to their playoff hopes by a hair after their winless streak stretched to five games on Saturday against the last place UBC-O (Okanagan) Heat.

The Eagles, who are in a tight three-way race for the final playoff spot, fell 3-1 at home to the previously winless Heat in what may have been a must-win game.

“This was the worst performance of the season, bar none,” said Kwantlen Coach Vincent Alvano. “I’ve seen in it so many times. This is the typical high school mentality where you play your heart out against a better team, and when it comes to a team you feel is beneath you, you stop competing.”

Kwantlen fell behind early when UBC-O’s Austin Ross curled a free kick into the top left corner of the goal, swinging the momentum to the Heat. UBC-O continued to press the Kwantlen defense, and in the 39th minute forward Lars Seitzinger was fouled near the goal, resulting in a penalty kick that put the Heat up 2-0.

Early in the second half, fresh substitute Sasa Plavsic wired a long free kick off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net, sparking an offensive resurgence, and pulling the Eagles back within striking distance.

Despite their renewed vigor, Kwantlen failed to convert any of their many opportunities into points, and as the clock ticked their desperation began to show.

In the 87th minute, after a possible hand ball went uncalled directly in front of the head referee, the Eagles stood frozen as Heat midfielder Tom Brook easily put the nail in the coffin on the resulting 3-on-2 rush.

“Those are the type of games that get coaches fired, or make a coach resign, because you feel so responsible that you cannot motivate your kids against a team you should be able to dominate,” Alvano said. “This is the team that held Capilano to a 1-1 tie in the first half, and 0-0 against Douglas, and we fall behind 2-0 against a team that hasn’t even won a game.”

Despite the loss, Kwantlen still has a chance at the playoffs because Langara lost its match to second-ranked Douglas College, and VIU lost to top-ranked Capilano.

If the 15-point Eagles win on Sunday, and 16-point Langara loses or ties, Kwantlen will squeak into the playoffs because they hold the tiebreaker over 15-point VIU.

Kwantlen’s final game of the regular season is a 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, rematch against UBC-O at Tamanawis Field in Surrey.


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