Campoli name continues for Ontario Tech soccer

Chris Campoli playing for the Ontario Tech Ridgebacks team. Photo credit: DC Athletics

The Campoli name has been in Ridgebacks soccer since 2015.

It started with Fabio, who recently finished his playing time with the men’s team at Ontario Tech.

But as one Campoli departs, another arrives on the pitch.

His brother Chris joined the team this and was given the same number 10 Fabio wore when he played.

“Pass on the torch,” said Chris.

Fabio was a good player for the Ridgebacks and was named Ontario Tech athlete of the year in 2016. Chris wants to be even better.

“Hopefully I can make a bigger impact than him,” said Chris.

Fabio was an elite goal scorer playing the striker position and breaking the school’s single-season goal-scoring record in his second season with 10.

Chris has just wrapped up his first season with the Ridgebacks and demonstrated he can contribute offensively, notching six goals and six assists for 18 total points.

Not surprisingly, the Campoli family has deep roots in soccer.

Chris started playing at the age of four.

“I fell in love with it and I have been playing ever since,” Chris said.

He was introduced to soccer by his dad, who is from Italy and grew up around soccer. Chris’s family came to Canada before he was born.

They are big fans of soccer and basically told me “it’s either this or nothing,” Chris said.

Chris was comfortable following Fabio to Ontario Tech. His brother gave him advice about the school size and the smaller classrooms which is why Chris chose to come here.

“I wanted to be a part of the culture here and build a winning team,” said Chris.

Before Ontario Tech, Chris played soccer in his hometown of Woodbridge, Ont. He also played for the Toronto FC Academy team.

Chris went through one of the rougher times in his soccer career when he played with TFC Academy.

“I wanted to hang them up,” Chris said.

Ultimately, he was cut from the team and he thought it could be the end of his soccer career.

After having a conversation with Fabio and his father he decided it was not time to quit – he went back to playing soccer in Woodbridge.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” Chris said.

He also said he owes getting his game back to his coach at Woodbridge, Fabio Panetta.

“I got the confidence back I started to become myself again I think I owe a lot of that to him,” Chris said.

Chris recalls one of his favourite moments watching his brother play.

Fabio scored the game-winning goal in the first playoff game Ontario Tech played. The goal came in extra time, at the 120-minute mark, giving the Ridgebacks 1-0 victory. It’s a moment Chris won’t forget.

But he also had a moment of his own this season.

Chris scored his first two Ontario university goals in the same game, including the tying tally in the dying minutes.

He also remembers Fabio’s response to his goals.

“Congrats on the two OUA goals, but the work doesn’t stop there – get back to training tomorrow,” he said.

He has taken his brother’s message to heart.

“I’m a strong believer that if you set high goals and you have to work hard to achieve them it all pays off in the end,” Chris said.

During the offseason, Chris wants to continue to put his time in on the field – indoors – as much as he can. He also wants to put on some muscle and stay fit by going to the gym.