Thursday, October 26th will see the Niagara College men's soccer program open the 2017 OCAA Championship against the George Brown Huskies. This marks the third straight OCAA Championship appearance for the Knights, and the opening round serves as a rematch of last year's bronze medal game.
The Knights enter the contest ranked No. 4 in the OCAA weekly rankings, while the Huskies slot in just behind at No. 5.
The well rounded Knights are averaging an OCAA best 21.3 shots per game, while standout fourth-year goalkeeper Sam Robson (Milton) ranks third in the OCAA in save percentage with .917%.
The Knights offensive attack is paced by third-year striker Carlos Williams (St. Catharines) who finished the regular season with six goals, bringing his all-time Knights' leading total to 16. Second year forward Marc-Andre Boucher (Niagara Falls) finished second on the team in scoring with four tallies. While dynamic midfielder Jordi Amores wrapped the regular season with three goals, but continued his playoff dominance on Sunday, scoring two of the Knights three goals during the team's opening round playoff victory over UTM. Amores scored five times during the 2016 playoff run for the Knights.
"Training has gone extremely well the past two weeks and we are healthier than we've been all year. I am eager to see how we perform" said Niagara Knights head coach Frank DeChellis. "We have been working on the mental aspect of the game and not getting caught in a particular moment. A single match can have over 500 events, so letting a bad moment go is very important. Easier said than done but we are getting there."
The Knights will face a George Brown Huskies team that finished that finished the regular season with a record of 6-3-1 in the extremely competitive OCAA Central Division. The team is lead by dynamic forward Filipe Vilela who tallied 11 goals in just nine games this season.
Stopping Vilela will rest on the shoulders of the Knights defensive back four that is led by veteran team captain Andrew Currie (Woodstock). Currie leads a defensive unit that includes Anu Makinwa (Brampton), Quinton Leone (Niagara Falls), and David Fimiak (Welland).
The winner of Thursday's 12:00pm quarter final matchup will face the winner of Durham and Fanshawe. For more information regarding the 2017 OCAA men's soccer championship visit the tournament website at http://ocaa.com/championships/msoc/2017-18/index.