The 3rd ranked team in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association suffered their first loss of the season as the St Thomas University Tommies shocked the Holland College Hurricanes 2-0 in Fredericton on Sunday afternoon.
The stage was set for a hard-fought contest in the first 10 minutes of the match when Ryan MacKinnon (Fredericton, NB) went in for a challenge just inside the box and took down an attacking Hurricane. MacKinnon was given a yellow card for the challenge, and worse yet it gave first year center back Bobby Gamba (St. John's, NL) a penalty kick.
Gamba stepped to the dot to face first year keeper George Tzimas (Toronto, ON). Gamba struck the ball and Tzimas dove to his right to deny the goal scoring opportunity.
"If that goal goes in it changes the momentum of the game," said head coach JR Morrison. "We fed off that big save. If you go behind to a team like Holland College they play very differently. They're a first-place team, and third in the country for a reason."
Right before the end of the first half it was David Effiong (Oman) converting on a corner kick to give the Tommies a 1-0 lead into the break.
In a game that had 24 total shots, 10 corner kicks and 16 fouls, neither team wanted to give an inch. The Hurricanes were knocking on the door all afternoon but couldn't solve Tzimas.
In the 84th minute Kyle Yearwood (Barbados) found a sliver of room to get off a strike from distance. A strike that Brandon Lund (Montague, PE) did his best got a hand on, only to have it bounce once into the back of the net for the final goal, sealing up a 2-0 victory for the Tommies.
"I'd be remised if I said that win wasn't huge for us," elated Morrison after the game. "We're a building program and they're a really tough team. We've been trying to work on getting our fundamentals correct, and we want to maintain our game plan regardless of who we play."
The Hurricanes will look to rebound on Saturday as they travel to face Mount Saint Vincent, while the Tommies will hit the road for a midweek affair with the UNBSJ Seawolves on Wednesday.