It was a disjointed and antsy Centennial Colts team that took to the pitch against the Redeemer Royals on Friday at the U. of T’s Scarborough campus.
Playing its final exhibition match before the season begins on Sunday, the men’s soccer team lost 3-0 to a more organized Royals group.
But the hope is that Friday’s loss will allow some of those nerves to disappear in the very near future.
“Out of everything bad that comes out you can find something positive and that positive is that we need to settle the guys before we play,” said Julian Carr, head coach of the Colts.
“I’m glad it happened today as opposed to it happening Sunday and we walk away with a 3-0 loss. I’d rather we be nervous and uptight today so when we play on Sunday we’re good.”
With a roster that features few veteran members and many young new players, there’s bound to be some shakiness at the start as the team tries to mesh.
There was plenty evidence of that on Friday.
At one point in the first half, Centennial’s Adrian Field had a jump on the ball in Redeemer’s end but was soon surrounded by four red Royal jerseys with no teammates to help him out.
One of the messages the assistant coaches delivered at halftime was that everyone was taking an extra touch instead of passing the ball off, resulting in the Colts losing possession on several occasions.\
Visitors control tempo
Redeemer had no trouble controlling play, tallying three goals. Taylor Prins was the player of the match, scoring two in the first half for a Royals team that set its final roster on Labour Day weekend.
After a Redeemer free kick bounced off a wall of defenders, the ball was picked up by Axel Hiemstra, who sent the pass wide right of the net.
Prins ran down the ball and easily booted it into the top of the mesh.
He netted his second of the night just 10 minutes later. On a sharp angle from left of the goal, his shot fooled everybody as it sailed by goalkeeper Phillip Liscio to the top right corner.
Jordan Dias scored Redeemer’s other goal.
Centennial, meanwhile, never really tested the Royals keeper, getting few scoring opportunities. Many of its chances came on the counterattack and were broken up by the Redeemer defenders.
Another reason for Centennial’s incohesive play could be that the final team still had not been set.
“Every time you enter the phrase ‘try-out’ into a situation, players try to start playing outside of what they can do,” Carr said. “And when they try and do things outside of what they can do, they get away from doing the things they do well, the things that make them into a team.”
Carr, who played his bench for the second half, was set to make three more cuts after the game ended.
The Colts will open this year’s campaign on Sunday against Durham at 3 p.m. at Birchmount Park.
They will be looking to improve upon a 2009 season where they went 0-10-1.