OPENING KICK-OFF: MEN'S SOCCER

OPENING KICK-OFF: MEN'S SOCCER

Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) men's soccer teams across the nation have one goal this autumn - solving the Humber Hawks.

Ontario teams will get the first crack at the two-time defending national champions as the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) begins its 50th men's soccer season. Humber has won four of the last five national titles, while OCAA programs have won five straight (including the Sheridan Bruins as host in 2014).

Humber went undefeated last season in the regular season, OCAA playoffs and national championship. In fact, the Hawks have not lost a regular season match since 2013. OCAA League and CCAA Championship All-Stars Jaineil Hoilett (Brampton) and Kingsley Boasiako (Brampton) remain key members of the Hawks in 2017.

The Algonquin Thunder have just as many OCAA medals the past four seasons, with one gold and three silvers. The last four OCAA gold medal matches have involved both Humber and Algonquin. Unfortunately these two programs do not meet in the regular season as they play in opposite divisions. Algonquin has dominated its side of the province, having not lost a regular season match since 2010.

If there is one program that may be able to end Humber's regular season win streak, it is the George Brown Huskies, last year's OCAA outdoor bronze and indoor gold medalists. Reigning league All-Stars Shaquille Agard (Toronto) and Jesse Oliver (Trinidad and Tobago) look to keep George Brown's medal streak alive this season. Humber and George Brown meet on Sept. 27 and Oct. 11.

In the western part of the province, the Fanshawe Falcons and St. Clair Saints have turned into a great rivalry. Only one point separates these teams atop the West Division standings the last two seasons. Midfielders Stefan Zastavikovic (Windsor), an OCAA League All-Star with the Saints last season, and Alberto Barquin (London) of Fanshawe remain veteran leaders of their respective clubs. These teams meet Oct. 7 and 18.

Seven matches mark the start of the OCAA regular season on Saturday. Similar to OCAA women's soccer, a divisional realignment will take place, as Seneca will switch places with Cambrian, with the former joining the East Division and the latter moving to the Central Division. Conestoga and Niagara will change divisions as well, with the former joining the Central Division and the latter moving to the West Division.

The Fleming Knights will host this year's OCAA championship, one of eight teams that earn a berth in the tournament. The top four teams in each of the OCAA's three divisions advance to the post-season (if Fleming places lower than fourth, then only the top three in the East Division make the playoffs). Division champions plus Fleming advance directly to the OCAA championship (or second-place team in East Division if Fleming places first).

With Humber's national success (and Algonquin's national bronze medal in 2015), the OCAA gold and silver medalists will both advance to CCAA championship in Nanaimo, B.C. in November.

2017 OCAA Schedule: http://ocaa.com/sports/msoc/2017-18/schedule

2017 OCAA Rosters: http://ocaa.com/sports/msoc/2017-18/rosters

2016 OCAA Regular Season Standings: http://ocaa.com/sports/msoc/2016-17/standings

OCAA Records: http://ocaa.com/sports/msoc/records

- OCAA -

ABOUT ONTARIO COLLEGES ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) is the recognized leader in intercollegiate athletics in the province, dedicated to student-athlete and sport development. The OCAA has 29 members sponsoring 12 varsity sports.

For additional information please contact:
Josh Bell-Webster
Marketing and Communications
Ontario Colleges Athletic Association
Tel: 416-426-7041
Fax: 416-426-7308
E-mail: bell-webster@ocaa.com