BY ALEX STEWART
The sky was filled with clouds but the atmosphere was set as the Sheridan Bruins Women’s soccer team (5-0-0) faced off against the University of Toronto-Mississauga Eagles (1-4-0) Sept. 25.
The Bruins came into the night with an undefeated 4-0 record following their 4-2 victory over George Brown on Sept. 19.
With the score tied at halftime, Bruin’s assistant coach Nadeka Boothe gave a special message to the team.
“We just told our girls to pick the energy up leave it all on the field,” she said. “We have 90 minutes and it’s just today, it’s one game and we got to take care of business today.”
The message clearly resonated with the team because in the 81st minute of the match, star player Zoe Derkach lasered the game-winning goal over the UTM goalie Nida Zaidi.
Derkach was filled with different emotions following the game-winning goal. “I felt frustration but happiness too, because I feel like I had a lot of chances that I could have buried tonight but at least I got it and that’s all that really matters.”
The final score of the game was 1-0 in favour of the Bruins. The shutout was lead by Savannah Wood, starting goalkeeper for the Bruins. When asked about Wood’s performance goalkeeper coach Amrik Hare was very pleased.
“I feel throughout the season she’s been getting better control of her box and command of her defense which is really what she had to focus on today.” He said.
Following the win against UTM Boothe added that there is always room for improvement.
“I think it took us a while to come to life but ultimately we got the job done. So we’ve got three points today, it was good enough today,” she said.
Derkach agreed, “We can play better and I know that we can play better. At least we came out with a win. So that’s all that really matters at this point.”
This win matches the total win total from the Bruin’s entire 2017 season. “We went into the season with high hopes and expectations. So far we’re on pace to do what we’re planning to do and that’s all we can hope for,” said Boothe.
The clear difference between this year and last year is the addition of Zoe Derkach to the Bruin’s offence. Derkach is currently the No. 2 goal scorer in the OCAA with 9 goals on the season.
The Sheridan Bruins are currently first place in the central division halfway through the season. Their biggest game of the year is on Oct. 3 against the undefeated Humber Hawks. The winner of this game will be a heavy favourite to win the central division.
The Bruins won’t handle the preparation any differently though, “we have to stick to our game plan that we said from the get-go.” Hare said. “It’s a 90-minute game plan, not something you can rely on to turn on and off throughout the 90 minutes you got to stick to it always perfect.”
With five games remaining in the season the Bruins look to finish the season strong and carry the momentum into the OCAA playoffs.
Final Five games:
- Vs. Conestoga Sept.29
- @ Humber Oct. 3
- Vs. Cambrian Oct. 6
- Vs. UTM Oct. 9
- Vs. Humber Oct. 16