The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Plagued by injury, the Niagara Knights men’s soccer team found itself on the wrong side of the score in the last two games.
Playing the first home game of the season on Sept. 18 versus Redeemer University College of Ancaster, the Knights may have been over-confident as the Royals came away with a 2-1 win.
Midfielder Jordan Arnott had the lone goal for the Knights.
"If you don’t play 90 minutes you’re not going to win," says assistant coach Mario Serianni. "Our biggest hurdle is getting the alternate players up to speed and getting the team to gel."
With four key players, among others, battling injury, the game was a good chance for the Knights to let some first-year players see the field. The Knights have 23 players signed to the roster, but only 18 can dress for each game.
Four days later, the Knights were on the road to Toronto, to face the Humber Hawks. In a hard-fought game in front of a large Humber crowd, the Knights held a strong Hawks team off the score sheet until the 78th minute. Humber would eventually find the net a second time, ending the game with a 2-0 score.
Head coach Anthony Ventresca says, "It was great to see such a strong effort put in with many of the players who are normally substitutes. Our team needs to get healthy, for sure."
The loss drops the Knights to 2-2 on the season, but Ventresca is optimistic.
"I fully expect to make the playoffs and seriously contend for the [Ontario College Athletic Association] championships," he says. "A good combination of hard work, commitment and a bit of good fortune and that is certainly attainable."
The Knights have four games left on the regular season, three of which are at home. Both men’s and women’s home games take place at Plymouth Park on Plymouth Road in Welland.