Despite an emergency lockdown due to a firearms incident, Leaside High School and Monarch Park Collegiate Institute battled to a 0-0 draw in senior boys soccer at Monarch Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Students at Monarch Park were released from the school around 4 p.m. ET, just in time for the 4:30pm start.
Leaside coach Chris Ujimoto was pleased that the disruption didn’t affect the start of the game.
“This kind of thing is really rare. All the kids were able to make the game. We waited and fortunately we were able to play our game,” Ujimoto said.
The teams traded chances throughout the game, but both teams appeared strong on defence.
Monarch Park goalkeeper Cagri Tegrin made a huge diving save late in the second half to keep the match tied. Tegrin admitted that he was surprised he stopped it.
“First, I thought it was going in and then I dove and took my chance,” Tegrin said. “I tried to make up for the one that hit the post and almost went in. I tried to get in the game, it was really cold and it was hard to move around. My legs were really stiff. The dive, it was a lot of action. That was one of my best dives ever.”
Tegrin’s teammates agree.
“Man of the match, hands down,” said Monarch Park captain Amir Khouzam.
“That boosted team morale and we held in that last couple of minutes. It was tough. He kept us in it and that’s priceless on a team to have a goalie that can do that in clutch moments.”
Leaside had a much deeper bench than Monarch Park in an effort to keep fresh legs at all times.
“We have 20 players and that’s more than what other teams keep on their roster,” said Ujimoto.
“This year we basically played everybody, so we play eight or nine minute shifts per line. And that’s probably the reason why it took our team a little longer to get adjusted today.”
Khouzam disagrees, feeling there’s a benefit in having the same players on the field for the entire game.
“I think there’s something good about having the same group of guys that’s on the field the whole time,” Khouzam said. “You get to know how each other plays.”