By Alex Figliomeni
Before the season began, Ricardo Fonseca, the men’s assistant soccer coach, had a good feeling about the 2018 season.
Fonseca felt they could accomplish something special this year…. he was right. They would go on to win not only their conference title but also the national championship.
The men’s Humber Hawks soccer team captured the 2018 national championship this past weekend, winning the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) tournament. It’s the highest tournament and honors the Hawks can achieve. The CCAA tournament ran from Nov. 7 -10th, hosted by Holland College in Prince Edward Island.
Ricardo Fonseca, the Hawks Assistant Coach, talked about this special 2018 winning season and what it took to get there. It’s Fonseca’s tenth season at Humber, he’s been a part of five National titles in the last seven years.
What were some the emotions you felt after the final whistle blew and they crowned you national champions?
Fonseca – This championship title run was very emotional. We had to overcome a ton of adversity all season long, so it was fantastic to end the season as the national championships.
How did it feel to have accomplished the goals your team set out to achieve?
Fonseca – it felt great to reach our goals. We now hope to carry that success and momentum to the indoor portion of the season.
Did you know before the season started that this team was unique and had what it takes to win it all?
Fonseca – I felt with the returning group we had plus the incoming recruits that this team could produce something special on the field. I’m glad they could come together and win our 5th national championship in 7 years.
Could you tell me about the players and their relentless no quit attitude?
Fonseca- This was not an easy season for the team. We faced many injuries, some suspensions, poor officiating but whatever challenge our team faced it didn’t matter; they kept on rising above it and wouldn’t accept defeat.
How about your coaching staff, what was it like in the coach’s room?
Fonseca – The fellow coaching staff has been great. It’s always been a pleasure of mine to work with these guys and keep achieving the goals we set.
Two out of the three games in the CCAA went to penalty shots. PK’s can be a nerve-racking experience. How prepared were you guys for the emotions and the intense nature of PK’s? How confident were you that your players would execute in such pressure moments?
Fonseca – It can be a nervous thing to go through, but we have been practicing them all year. We got knocked out in Pks last year, so this year we wanted to make sure it didn’t happen again. I was confident if they stuck to what they did in practice we would prevail.
The resolve of the team to score and tie it up with almost no time left in the Semis, instead of hanging their head, must have been a great moment as a coach.
Fonseca – Picking yourself up after being down is nothing new to this team. They have been doing it all year, so I wasn’t surprised that we could fight back, once again after getting knocked down.