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Varsity Update - September 29, 2008

Rugby

The Mohawk rugby team scored an impressive 45-5 victory over the Fleming College Knights right in Peterborough September 27. It was sweet revenge for the veterans on the club which lost last years OCAA Bronze Medal match to Fleming very late in overtime.

John Tavares led the Mountaineers with two tries. John Isbister, Trevor Atkinson, Steve Johnston and James Cumpson also had major scores and Cumpson converted all six tries and added a penalty goal for a total of 20 points in the game.

Mohawk head coach Alex Paris said there was a big difference from last week's opening game 18-15 win over reigning champion Humber. "It was a hard fought game, with improvements in ball movement and defense, said Paris. Our backs stepped up the pace from last week forcing Fleming's forwards to tire. Support from the forwards picked up in the second half helping with ball retention."

Mohawk improved it's record to 2-0 in the West Region, while Fleming, the East front-runners, slipped to 2-1. Mohawk's next game is Wednesday (Oct. 1) in Barrie, when they face the Georgian Grizzlies.

Men's Soccer

The Mohawk men's soccer team got an early goal from Sirwan Irandost, from Westlane Secondary School in Niagara Falls. But that was it, as the Fanshawe Falcons equalized late in the first half then scored three times in the second half for a 4-1 decision September 23 at Mohawk Sports Park. Coach Richard Bennett said his team got off to a good start and he thought they'd hold the lead a bit longer, but an unmarked Falcon scored and turned the game around for the visitors. " Then we were a bit flat in everything in the second half," said Bennett.

However, the Mountaineers won their first game of the season, 2-1 over the Lambton Lions, in Sarnia September 26. Sirwan Irandost and Roberto Del Rosario, a product of Bishop Macdonell in Guelph got the Mountaineer markers, one in each half.

The next day, Mohawk lost a 6-5 heartbreaker to the St. Clair Saints in Windsor and coach Richard Bennett described it as a wild and entertaining game, as the score would indicate. Hassan Hamed from St. Joan of Arc in Mississauga opened the scoring for the Mountaineers, but the Saints struck for three goals to lead 3-1 at the half. In the second half Sirwan Irandost made it 3-2 and then Hamed tied for the score for Mohawk. St. Clair went ahead 4-3. Irandost tied it with his second goal of the afternoon. The Saints forged ahead again, but Hamed's third goal of the match tied the score at 5-5. Then with about five minutes remaining, St. Clair was awarded a penalty, which they converted for the 6-5 victory.

Mohawk coach Bennett questioned the penalty call for a handball, as he felt the ball played the hand and not the other way around. "It's one of those calls which are at the referee's discretion, said Bennett. "I didn't feel it was a deliberate handball and it's very disappointing when a penalty like that decides the outcome of a game. This was one of those games when it's too bad there's a loser."

With the defeat the Mountaineers record dropped to 1-5-1. They host Conestoga Tuesday September 30 at 4:30 pm at Mohawk Sports Park.

Women's Soccer

The Mohawk women's soccer team was blanked 3-0 by Fanshawe September 23 as the Falcons got all their goals in the second half. Coach Renzo Castellani thought the first two goals killed his side, but he also felt his team came out too soft in this one, whereas Fanshawe battled hard and one could tell they really wanted to win the game.

Mohawk then lost 3-1 at Lambton in Sarnia September 26. The visitors led 1-0 at the half, as Kristen Magnusson, a second year player from Burlington Nelson, scored early. But the Lions scored three times in the second half then put up a defensive wall the Mountaineers could not break down. Mohawk coach Renzo Castellani conceded his team didn't play that well.

But September 27 was a totally different story as the Mountaineers blanked St. Clair 2-0. Genevieve Burden, the first year goalkeeper from Hamilton Westdale, recorded the shutout. Rookie Leanne Ardron from Dundas Highland got both goals for Mohawk, one on a nice move and the other converting a cross from Kelsey Forbes, the second year Mountaineer out of Robert Bateman High School in Burlington. Castellani praised Ardron. "She's very easy to coach. She listens to what you say and puts it into practice right away." Castellani also said he had people playing with real heart. "I had players who were hurting with injuries and they toughed it out."

The Mountaineers improved their record to 2-3-1. They entertain Conestoga Tuesday September 30 at 4:30 pm at Mohawk Sports Park.

Cross Country

The Mohawk cross country team had some outstanding results September 27 at the Fanshawe Invitational in London. The men's team was second behind host Fanshawe. Individually, Mohawk had three runners in the top eight, Andre Simon (2), Justin Hensen (7) and Dave Hirsh (8).

In the women's event, Mohawk could not field enough runners for the team event, but Charlene Gibbins was fourth overall. Coach Wayne Collins was very impressed with how things went. "Our mens team had a great day, finishing second. Andre Simon ran the best race of his College career with an impressive 27:31 for a second place overall finish. Charlene was about 2 seconds faster today compared to her race on the same course last year.

Mohawk Individual Results

Men
Andre Simon (2)27:31
Justin Hensen (7) 28:42
Dave Hirsh (8) 29:06
Jeff Vander Harst (14) 30:15
Matt Giroux (31) 31:15
Jacob McDonald (34) 31:38
Alex Hamilton (40) 32:21
Dan Culp (53) 35:59

Women
Charlene Gibbins (4) 20:03
Anita Tamminga (32) 25:12

Team Results

Men
1. Fanshawe 25
2. Mohawk 31
3. George Brown 51
4. Humber 68
5. Loyalist 104
6. Fleming (P) 117
7. Seneca 123
8. Lambton 127
9. Georgian 140

Women
1. Humber 15
2. Fanshawe 17
3. Redeemer 37
4. St. Lawrence Brockville 38
5. George Brown 46
6. Georgian 57
7. Loyalist 59

Mohawk plans to be at the next invitational, Saturday (Oct. 4) at Fleming College in Peterborough.

Men's Volleyball

The Mohawk Mountaineers and McMaster Marauders got together for a men's volleyball pre-season match at Mohawk's Fennell Gymnasium September 25. They played four games and McMaster was victorious in each. The scores were 25-12, 25-23, 25-13, 25-17.

Mohawk head coach James Bradley, a former McMaster assistant coach, said his side was humbled, just like the Marauders were last year, when they came to Mohawk and lost to the Mountaineers. He's convinced it pushed Mac to work hard for the rest of the year and they won the OUA and were ranked number two going to the CIS Volleyball Championship. He's hoping this match will have the same effect on his team, which won the OCAA title last year and garnered a bronze in the Canadian College Championship.

Bradley said McMaster has some of the best players in the country. The team has size, talent, strength and maturity and is extremely well coached. As for his own squad, he felt its youth really showed in the match. "They had a couple of good starts but some bad decisions and other errors hurt. We've got to eliminate errors from our game. We've got to be able to sustain play. We've got to work hard in the gym to do that." Bradley added, "It's never negative to lose. You learn more from losing than you do from winning."