University sports returned this fall, which also means we can be treated to highlight reel plays like we saw in Toronto last weekend thanks to the Carleton University Ravens men's soccer team.
The Ravens trailed 1–0 against the York University Lions Sunday when defender Tareq Hamad sent a long ball from the Ravens' end to midfielder Matteo de Brienne.
Instead of controlling the long pass, de Brienne chose to strike a volley that dipped past the goalkeeper.
The highlight reel goal ended up carrying more importance as the final goal of the game in a 1–1 draw. Some fans now want the strike submitted for FIFA's Puskás Award, which recognizes the most beautiful goal of the year.
Play seemed like 'slow motion'
In an interview with CBC Radio's All in a Day, Hamad said everything played out in "slow motion" after the ball left his foot.
"I saw the half was almost finishing up, and I was just trying to get up the field," he told host Alan Neal.
"I just saw Matteo peeling off a defender, I see the space in front of him, and I just tried to get ahead of him and he did the rest — what can I say?"
De Brienne said, in the moment, it was as if his leg had a mind of its own.
"I see the ball over the top — it was a great ball by Tareq — and then, like, last second it was like my leg wanted to stutter ... and then my leg just took a strike at it and I was able to connect on it perfectly."
When even the opposing team's fans cheered, he knew he'd done something pretty special.
"It was just incredible to think of because it's something I'd never expect. I was expecting a little bit of heckling, a little bit of booing and stuff like that," he said.
The goal also caught the eye of TSN journalist and Carleton alumnus James Duthie.
"It's not surprising from a Raven. Ravens are gifted," Duthie wrote on Twitter.
The goal will likely continue to be the chatter on campus and in sports highlight packs, but de Brienne said he wants to focus on upcoming games and the 2021 national championship, which Carleton will host next month.