The season ended early for the Trojans men’s soccer team. On the last weekend of regular season play, the men needed to win both games in order to move on to the ACAC Provincial Championships. Unfortunately, for the men of Troy, they lost to the Red Deer College Kings 3-1 on Saturday, October 19.
When asked what went wrong during the Red Deer game, coaches were quick to say that the referees played a main part in the loss.
“(There was) a group of officials who do not deserve to be officiating at the college level … apparently I am too intimidating,” he continues.
During the second half of the Red Deer game, Coach Grant got a red card and thrown out of the game for arguing with the officials.
“(There are) unqualified and bias officials – let the athletes decide the outcome of the game not the officials,” said head coach Grant Stevens.
Players Yassin Yusuf and Ivan Tomljanovic were given red cards also, making the team play short of members.
Even though the season is over for the men, but the learning experience has been the most rewarding part of the season.
“So was this season less successful?”
“It was definitely not, because of how we played and how we carried ourselves as a team and represented SAIT.”
Coach Grant Stevens has been coaching soccer for over 20 years and has had a lot of experience with heart break and victories.
“I am never disappointed by any of my teams’ performance for although we did not qualify for provincials it was never in our hands to make that decision.”
“We had the best team in the league and when looking at the standings of the current provincial tournament … enough said.”
Looking ahead into the future, Stevens’ said that next year will bring, “Love and harmony from my part to diminish my intimidating stance … where is the passion for the beautiful game?”
At the beginning of the season, the men were optimistic that their goal of a title in the National Championships was in their reach.
“I did not take into account on how many of the players would be inexperienced in playing at a college level,” assistant coach John Talerico said when explaining what made the goal unreachable.
“I am disappointed yes, however on the positive side we will have a lot of returning players next year,” said Talerico.
“I believe we will have at least 12 to 14 returning players, plus we have interest from some past players that have 1 more year of eligibility left,” he continues.
Talerico said that having so many rookies over veteran players, played a part in the downfall.
“We have a good group of players, however we only had 3 veterans and we really had a lot of rookie mistakes.”
Talerico remains very positive about the next season of play, and is ready to go with a full roster of returning players.
Success for me is not about how many games were won or lost but rather as to what was learned. – Grant Stevens
The men closed out their season with a win on Sunday, October 20 against the Lakeland Rustlers, winning 3-0.
No one knows what the future will hold for the team, but they can try again at their goal of Nationals, that can be achieved next year.
For more on the Trojans, click here.