The 2011 season for the Laurentian Voyageurs men’s soccer team could be captured in one dramatic turning point. Just five games in, the team was sitting with a record of 1-2-2, but coming off back to back 4-1 losses to Ryerson and Toronto on the road.
“I remember being pretty dejected about it and so were the boys,” said L.U. coach Carlo Castrechino. “We came back from the Toronto weekend and got back to work on fundamentals.”
“We worked on our touch, getting the ball to the forwards, our wingers supporting – still to this day, our first half hour of practice is touch drills,” Castrechino added. The result was both immediate and impactful.
The Voyageurs posted a record of 5-2-2 over the final nine games, knocking off Queen’s in penalty kicks in the first round of the playoffs before being swept aside by Carleton. More importantly, the team was simply good soccer almost all of the time.
“It just showed what kind of character we had,” said Castrechino. “We were controlling possession of the game – that’s what I was impressed with.”
“Our passing, our ball possession, our movement off the ball. It was night and day after the first three weeks.” On an individual level, the development continued for many young Voyageurs, as both Cameron Brooks (defender) and Daniel O’Connor (midfielder) cracked the OUA East second all-star team.
The tandem were joined by Brian Kavaratzis (defender), with all three returning to L.U. for the 2012 campaign.