MGCI’s Junior and Senior Boys Soccer teams showed significant improvement and success over the course of their season this year. Mr. Graham coached the junior team to a record of five wins, three losses, and one tie, while Mr. Hillman coached the senior team, which finished with five wins, four losses, and one tie.
During the the regular season, each team played eight games in an attempt to qualify for playoffs over the course of a month. On average, the senior team was on the field twice a week, practice or game, whereas the juniors had a total of two practices.
Within the schools in the southern region, the senior team played in the more competitive Tier 1 division while junior teams were not split into tiers. After eight games each, both the junior and senior teams successfully qualified for playoffs, ranked fourth and fifth in their respective divisions. Both teams competed in the playoffs for a spot at the city championships.
The junior team were eliminated in quarterfinals after losing to Leaside with a score 3-2. The senior team played against Harbord CI and won their game 3-1, but lost their semifinal game against North Toronto CI despite having tied 3-3 earlier in the season. When asked about the game, Mr. Hillman said, “We just didn’t have our best game at a time when we needed to.” He also said the turf field may have posed a disadvantage to the players, who trained on grass.
When asked about their team’s’ success, Mr. Graham said, “They’ve exceeded my expectations for the season by a large margin and they really came together as a team.” He believes the team has greatly improved from last year’s team who lost all of their games. He hopes to improve the team next year by making sure the players are always focused while on the field. Mr. Hillman said, “We’ve been up and down. When the team puts team first and individual second, we do very, very well because they’re very, very skilled, but when they get selfish and start playing for the name on their back instead of the crest on the front, we’re not so good.” He said he believes that the team was more skilled than last year’s team who also finished as semi-finalists. In the future, he wishes that the soccer season could be longer since he believes that one month is not long enough to see improvement.
Although the season has come to an end, players still have a chance to enjoy the sport on the MGCI Boy’s Selects Varsity Soccer Team which has an indoor season in addition to an outdoor season in the spring. As he awaits for next year, Ibrahim Khokhar, the captain of the junior team, said, “I look forward to making the team again and with the use of being on varsity, hopefully improving my skills and leading our team to playoffs.”