On Saturday October 6, the Golden Bears soccer team played Saskatchewan, prevailing 2-1. Behold The Wanderer’s recap for the game.
Let’s start by mentioning the Saskatchewan Huskies uniforms. You’d think that with a university varsity team, the jerseys would actually be half-decent, several notches above the local men’s beer league soccer club kits. Wrong. The Huskies jogged onto the field wearing these forest green jerseys (with a white v stripe above their chests) that rivals the aesthetics of a u-6 Tim Hortons Timbits team uniform. Seriously, this doesn’t bode well for a team that a) comes from barren Saskatchewan and b) is already nicknamed the “Huskies.”
At 2 pm, the game begins and it’s evident within the first 10 minutes that Saskatchewan is built around one player, their striker (number 10), whose name is Brett Levis. This guy is very fast and explosive, and the Golden Bears clamp down on him pretty hard. Throughout most of the first half, Saskatchewan is on the defensive, and the Bears miss a few quality chances. Of note is a one-on-one with the keeper, where the ball is put just wide of the net, sort of like Fernando Torres on this play.
When the halftime whistle blows, the score is still 0-0, and fans start to think, “Dammit, there have been three halves of no scoring today… please someone, just put it in the net!”
Thankfully, the last 45 minutes are much more exciting. After Saskatchewan opens with a consistent attack in the first few minutes of the second half, one of the nicest plays you’ll see all year takes place. Jonah Feil carries the ball down the left side on a counterattack, and out of nowhere makes this cross-field through ball to a streaking Zenon Markevych, who slides the ball past the keeper to make it 1-0. One moment, you’re sitting in the stands, hoping that something will happen, and boom, goal number one on a bang-bang play. (Following this goal, someone from the Golden Bears sideline screams “RELAAXX” to the team in a raspy, Alexisonfire sort of voice. Irony, maybe?)
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that throughout the match, Saskatchewan parents dispute every friggin’ offside call against the Huskies. “OMG he was totally NOT offside.” “Why are they calling that he wasn’t even near being offside!” And most hilarious of all, when the Huskies ‘score’ on an offside, the Saskatchewan fans all start cheering, high-fiving each other, without ONE PERSON noticing that the linesman has had his flag up for the last ten seconds.
With the Golden Bears up 1-0, you can tell that Saskatchewan begins to panic, though the Bears don’t stop pressing. Several minutes later, a Bears player is taken down in the box, and you know what that means! PENALTY SHOT. But what’s much more shocking than the penalty shot, is the ref’s theatrical, Broadway-inspired, Academy Award-nominated signal for the penalty shot. Imagine an NFL running back that successfully converts on a nail-biting fourth and two down. He gets up, thrusts his right arm forward and points towards his opponent’s end zone. Or a Major League Baseball umpire that calls a player out on a close play at first base. Yes, this soccer referee does the same thing, and fans in the stands remark, “Is it just me, or did the ref really go over-board on that call?”
To take the penalty shot, Bears captain Scott Gilroy steps up. For some reason, there’s no penalty spot, so the ref takes twelve steps out from the goal line, and points to where Gilroy should place the ball. Then, just as Gilroy preps for the shot, the Saskatchewan goalie walks up, rolls the ball back several inches, and returns to his net. This is a clear DOUCHE BAG move, an obvious head-game attempted on Gilroy. An ‘attempt’ is the correct word, because Gilroy blasts the ball into the left side of the net, making the score 2-0.
Somehow, the Huskies make it 2-1 on a clinical finish by the fleet-footed Saskatchewan striker Levis, but that’s all the team manages. The ref blows his whistle at 90 minutes and injury time, and the Golden Bears collect another three points.
The teams will be back at it later today, at 2 pm, following the Pandas-Trinity Western match at noon.