The Holland College Hurricanes’ quest to get back to the national men’s soccer championship begins tonight in Coquitlam, B.C.
The second-seeded Hurricanes play the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners at 9:30 p.m. AST.
“We have to patient, disciplined and composed,” said coach Jonathan Vos, who was named CCAA men's soccer coach of the year Tuesday. “VIU is a strong, physical team. We need to be ready to take advantage of our chances when we get them.”
The Hurricanes went undefeated (6-0-4) in the Atlantic conference for the second-straight season. Their only loss in the last two years came in the 2011 gold-medal game, losing to the North Alberta Institute of Technology Ooks 2-1 in extra-time.
The Hurricanes entered last year’s competition as the No. 8 seed, upsetting top-seeded VIU 2-1 in their first match of the championship. This season, the Hurricanes are favoured as the Mariners lost in the PacWest title-game to Douglas College, which is hosting this year’s nationals.
The Mariners lost several key players from last year, but have a solid group returning who will be looking to avenge last year’s loss.
“There are always lots of nerves early on in a game like this. A big key will be getting our feet settled early-on and sticking to the gameplan that we’ve put in place,” Vos said. “We have a solid group back from last year’s team and we have several guys with considerable national-level experience. We’ve tried to draw on that in our preparation and I think it will help us stay focused on what we need to do.”
Veteran midfielder Jeremy Joly is expecting a defensive struggle.
“We need to be first on the ball as much as possible and be prepared to capitalize on our opportunities when they come. I don’t expect it to be a game where there are that many, so we need to be ready,” said Joly.
“We’re prepared and we can’t wait to play. We’re an experienced group. We need to take it one game at a time, but we have our sights set on playing in the title-game again this year. To get there we’ve got to take care of business from the opening kick-off.”