This year's performance by the men's soccer team was a bit like the horny, class dork on prom night--it was their best chance of making it, but still they came up short. While the dork probably lacks style, charisma and social graces, the team lacked a ball winning midfielder, a threatening striker tandem and somebody to draw attention away from midfielder Brian Newmarch.
While Newmarch is one of the league's most skilled players and fifth-year goalkeeper Mike Willis played spectacularly well, the overall level of talent could only be described as capable. Striker Rajiv Mathur possessed spectacular speed, but his diminutive stature prevented many crosses from finding him.
Defender Colin Hill was ferocious, literally scaring opposing strikers off the ball. The rest of the team played with their hearts too, except for a few notable instances. After a playoff spot was secured, they lost to the inferior Huskies and Golden Bears, and when they trailed the Thunderbirds by three in the semi-final, their play became truly sloppy.
Andy Gibbs appears to have gained the full respect of his players. He understands his team's strengths and knows what they must do to succeed. Gibbs' off-season work with his players in the indoor soccer league is really starting to pay off in the Dinos' skill development.
This was a good team, but unfortunately the Dinos are stuck in the same conference as perennial powerhouses University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. Sadly, many of the players like Willis, Mathur and J.P. "meal money" Khouri will not return next year. Look for Newmarch to continue to shine and defender Andrew Zakaluzny to come into his own.
Food they remind me of: Beer. You'll have a great time, but you'll wake up in pain feeling slightly disappointed.