Champs HUSA Alumni come out flying

Champion Saskatoon HUSA Alumni came out flying on the opening day of the 2012 Challenge Trophy competition, winning 8:0 over the Fredericton Reds. The team boasted seven different scorers in the 3 October match at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex in Winnipeg, MB.

"Our leader (Mark Korthuis) set the tone from the get go and the ball just kept rolling from there," said HUSA Alumni head coach Stewart Gillott. "All our players were excited to get things going in this tournament."

Player-of-the-match Korthuis scored two goals, including the opener in the 24th minute of play. Korthuis, Jay Tomchuk (27') and Jeff Friesen (29') made it 3-0 inside five minutes before Korthuis (37'), Nathan Reis (45'), Josh Northey (48'), Jerson Barandica-Hamilton (60'), and Michael Collins (75') added to the tally.

In all, four matches were played on the opening day of the men's senior competition. Ontario's AEK London won 6:1 over Yellowknife FC, British Columbia's Surrey United Firefighters won 3:1 over Winnipeg, MB's Hellas SC, and FC Winnipeg Lions won 1:0 over Newfoundland Labrador's Holy Cross.

In the AEK London 6:1 win - the opening match in the morning - Haris Cekic scored four goals while Ree San and Jovan Ivanovic each scored one goal. Emmanuel Ayiku scored for Yellowknife FC.

Following the HUSA Alumni victory, Surrey United Firefighters won 3:1 in the afternoon with goals scored by Colin Streckmann, Steve McAuley and Ryan Reynolds. Hellas SC's Chris Musto cut the lead with just under a quarter of an hour to play.

In the final match of the day, A.J. Naumiuk scored the lone goal of a big 1:0 win over Holy Cross. Midfielder Matt Appler was the host's player of the match.

All 12 teams in the Challenge Trophy competition play two group matches in three days from Wednesday to Friday. The top-two teams from each three-team group (four groups) advance to the quarter-final phase, with the bottom four teams advancing to the consolation round. The four matches on Thursday feature PEI FC v the Fredericton Reds, Edmonton Scottish v Hellas SC, Royal-Sélect Beauport v Yellowknife FC, and Halifax City v Winnipeg Lions.