Photo By: Jerome from Unsplash

The Badgers’ men’s soccer team’s season came to an end this weekend, as the team dropped two games against the second-place Waterloo Warriors. 

The two-game weekend set began with a rain-ridden match on Friday night under the lights of Alumni Field. The Warriors took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break, before Brock’s breakout rookie Michael Solomon delivered his fifth goal of the season to tie it up early in the second half. The two teams duked it out in the second half before Waterloo struck the winning blow in the 78th minute. 

Waterloo went on to win the game 2-1. The Warriors picked up a crucial three points to gain some separation over Western for the OUA West’s second playoff spot. 

While Solomon aims to be part of a promising future for Brock’s team, Friday night brought the opportunity to celebrate those who would go on to play their final game just a few days later. Following the match, the now drenched players, supporters, and coaches made their way into the Ian Beddis Gymnasium for a recognition of the senior players on Brock’s men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Seven players from this iteration of the men’s team will not be suiting up for the squad when the Badgers return to the pitch in 2022. Those recognized on senior night were midfielder and captain Andrew Baldin, midfielder Matthew Wnukowski, midfielder Alejandro Puentes, midfielder Jaden Nearing-Rampersand, midfielder Lucas Mastromattei, centre back Maxwell Kensett, and striker Alex Wallace. All seven of the players recognized were members of the 2019 OUA quarter-finalist team. 

Following the proceedings, the two teams then turned around and faced off for the final game of the regular season on Sunday in Waterloo. Brock was held scoreless for the fifth and final time this season, as Waterloo won their second in a row, by a score of 1-0. Brock would wrap up their season on a five-game losing streak. 

Brock finished the season in fifth place in the OUA West, and while they did not qualify for the playoffs this year, there are some positive takeaways from the season which prove promising for the Badgers. 

Despite Brock’s offensive struggles, the team looked sound defensively throughout the year. The Badgers allowed just 15 goals from opponents across 10 games, giving them a goal differential of -5 on the season. This compared to the goal differentials of other bottom-third teams in their divisions such as Queen’s (-29), RMC (-49) or Algoma (-54), indicating that the team may have been better than their 2-7-1 record indicates. 

The team allowed two or fewer goals in eight of the ten regular-season matches, with the only exceptions being the two games against the Laurier Golden Hawks. In those matches, Brock also put up their season-high of three goals, which showed that the team is capable of scoring and keeping pace with their competitors. 

Holes in the midfield will be something to address as the five seniors move on. Strong seasons from Solomon, goalkeeper Alex May, midfielder Marc Iantomasi, and midfielder Mateo Puentes, among others, will be something that the team can build on in 2022.