A successful weekend in the books for the Shield
by Cambrian Varsity Athletics
The expectations for the Cambrian Golden Shield men’s soccer team might not be quite as high as those of their female counterparts, as the men
pursue a significant goal of cracking the top four in the country’s toughest collegiate division and earning a playoff berth in the process.
The Shield took a significant step towards reaching that target, picking up four points on the road this weekend, including a critical 1-0 win over the
Conestoga Condors. The lads kicked off their two-game road trip, earning a 1-1 draw with the University of Toronto Mississauga Eagles, with
Masoud Mahmoud netting the Cambrian goal.
“A draw on the road was a good result, because it keeps us in playoff position for the moment,” noted head coach Giuseppe Politi. “With a bit
more luck, we could have won the game after hitting the post in the dying minutes, but it's a well deserved point and keeps our team objectives alive.”
Mahmoud was front and centre again the next day, accounting for the only goal of the game as keeper Dylan Rossian held the Condors off the
scoresheet for the visitors. “This was a massive win in our pursuit of a playoff spot,” acknowledged Politi.
With a record of 2-4-1 (7 points), the Golden Shield hold down fourth place, the final playoff spot, just ahead of both U of T (0-3-3 – 3 pts) and
Conestoga (0-6-1 – 1 pt). A head to head matchup with the Eagles is looming, in Sudbury, when U of T Mississauga travels north to face Cambrian on October
10th at 6:30 p.m., in a rare mid-week encounter.
As for the girls, they did as expected, sweeping a pair of games on the road, starting with a 9-2 drubbing of U of T Mississauga. Already in the record
books as the all-time leading scorer in OCAA history, Tiffany Johnson added a six pack to her resume, accounting for two-thirds of the goals versus
Clarissa MacArthur, Jenna Schroeder and Alexis Belanger also joined in the fun, with the Sudbury crew making it two for two thanks to a
3-0 final with Conestoga. Johnson, with a pair, and MacArthur gave keeper Megan Coutu more than enough cushion for the win. Both Cambrian teams next
see action this coming Friday, hosting the George Brown Huskies.
Meanwhile, both Cambrian volleyball teams were involved in pre-season action, taking part in the Fanshawe College Overkill Kickoff Volleyball
Tournament. Ironically, both teams finished second in their respective pools, defeated in semi-final action in their cross-over games.
Coach Tom Sutton and the Golden Shield men managed to pick up a set victory along the way, falling to the Canadore Panthers (25-21, 10-25,
18-25, 14-25) on Friday, and to both the Seneca Sting (14-25, 11-25, 22-25) and St Clair Saints (7-25, 20-25, 11-25) on Saturday.
The semi-final match would see Cambrian trading volleys with the host Fanshawe Falcons, with the home side advancing thanks to a 25-13, 25-8,
25-15 win. Lucas Claveau was named to the tournament all-star team for Cambrian.
The Cambrian ladies, meanwhile, posted a record of 3-0 in pool play, knocking off the Canadore Panthers (25-23, 25-11, 25-18), Centennial
Colts (22-25, 28-26, 29-27, 25-14) and Seneca Sting (25-23, 25-16, 25-22).
Coach Dale Beausoleil and the girls would then draw Fanshawe, as well, swept aside by the Falcons, 17-25, 22-25, 17-25. Veteran Hayley
Chisholm was recognized as a tournament all-star for Cambrian.
Finally, the cross country teams were competing in the GTA, taking part in the Seneca Invitational hosted at King Campus. Led by the one-two punch of
Mary Strain and Emily Marcolini, the Golden Shield women’s team cracked the top three for the first time in several years, finishing with 60
points and squeezing between Humber (48 pts) and George Brown (77).
After finishing just ahead of Janelle Hanna of Fanshawe in the season opening race, Strain would see the tables turned in race two. Hanna clipped
through in 24:13, 15 seconds ahead of Strain, while Marcolini slid into fifth place in a time of 24:50. Akasha Piché (22nd – 28:14) and Megan
Lloyd Wismer (43rd – 30:13) rounded out the team scoring for Cambrian.
Shawn Belanger (25th – 31:15) showed the way for the Golden Shield men, with Erich Mundt (29th – 31:40) and Gergely Szabo (71st –
38:35) in hot pursuit. Certainly, much of the credit for the recent success of the Cambrian cross country crew can be attributed to head coach Eric
But with the team growing these days, Leishman was more than happy to welcome former St Benedict Bears track star Sebastian Diebel to the
coaching ranks. Still competing while completing his post-secondary studies at Mount Olive College (North Carolina) and Lakehead University
in Thunder Bay, Diebel is coming to grips with the variation in his role from athlete to coach.
“It’s still a challenge, a little bit, to look out for other people more than looking out for yourself,” noted the native of Nairn Centre. “It’s good
though. I needed a little bit of a break, just from the competitiveness standpoint. I raced on road race last year, just for fun, but other than that, my
whole cross-country season was making sure that all the athletes were as good as they can be.”
Much like Leishman, Diebel has the benefit of actually participating in team workouts, providing something of a motivational angle to his post. “I’m
happy to help out any way that I can,” he said. “The other day, we were doing a workout together. For one interval, I was with the top guys. The next
interval, I was with other people, then with the girls. And the next one, I was just coaching.”
That said, Diebel is quick to point any accolades the team might receive in the direction of the man in charge. “I think it’s great that it’s growing,
and a lot of that has to do with Eric,” stated Diebel. “He’s put in a lot of work over the years and been involved with Cambrian athletics for ten years
now. It’s nice to see his work paying off and the momentum start to grow.”