UNB off to nationals: CIS championship preview

UNB off to nationals: CIS championship preview

OTTAWA (CIS) – New CIS men’s soccer champions will be crowned on Sunday in Charlottetown as the UBC Thunderbirds, winners of the last two Sam Davidson Memorial Trophies, fell in the Canada West semifinals this past weekend. It marks the third time in four years that the reigning monarchs fail to qualify for the national tournament.

 

The eight-team competition, hosted for the second time by the University of Prince Edward Island, gets underway on Thursday and culminates on Sunday with the national final at 1 p.m. Atlantic Time. All 11 games from the event will be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

 

In addition to the host UPEI Panthers, this year’s contenders are the UNB Varsity Reds (AUS champions), UQAM Citadins (RSEQ champs), York Lions (OUA champs), Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West champs), Montreal Carabins (RSEQ finalists), McMaster Marauders (OUA finalists) and Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West finalists).

 

Thursday’s quarter-finals at UPEI Turf include McMaster vs. UNB at 11 a.m. Atlantic, Alberta vs. UQAM at 1:30 p.m., Montreal vs. York at 4 p.m., and UPEI vs. Saskatchewan at 7 p.m.

 

The Golden Bears, who eliminated UBC on Halloween night, are the most decorated program in the field with four CIS titles (1972, 1979, 2003, 2006). The Lions have been crowned three times (1977, 2008, 2010) and the V-Reds once (1980).

 

UQAM, Saskatchewan, Montreal, McMaster and UPEI all are looking for their first Davidson Trophy triumph.

 

Although there are no official seeding prior to the championship, York could be considered a pre-tournament favourite. After all, the Lions have been ranked among the top two in the country since mid-September, including the No. 1 nod in each of the last three coaches’ polls of the campaign.

 

The Lions (17-0-2 overall) are one of only two teams in CIS to go undefeated in the regular season and the playoffs - along with UNB (13-0-2) - and kept the best goal differential in the nation in league play with a CIS-best 59 goals scored and only seven conceded. They capped their OUA schedule with a solid 2-0 win over McMaster in the conference final - on the Marauders’ home field – to claim their second straight Ontario title.

 

“It feels great to win (the OUA title),” said OUA West MVP Jarek Whiteman, who hopes the Lions can improve from their fourth-place finish at last year’s CIS tourney in Fredericton. “We tried to be better with every roll of the ball like our coach said, and we just stayed as a unit and all of our hard work has paid off. We are still not satisfied though; we need to go to nationals and do what we set out to do.”

 

York’s first-round opponent, RSEQ finalist Montreal, was a modest 6-2-4 in conference play but managed to advance to the national competition for the ninth time in 12 years thanks to a 1-0 shutout of Laval, last year’s CIS silver medallist, in the RSEQ semis.

 

“We have a young team, much different than the one that placed fifth a year ago in Fredericton. We have 15 new players this year,” says head coach Pat Raimondo, who guided the McGill Redmen to the CIS title in 1997. “Against York, it’ll be a challenge, but we’ll put up a fight. They should be considered among the favourites but I’m sure they won’t take us lightly.” 

 

On the same side of the draw, Saskatchewan faces UPEI in the nightcap.

 

The high-scoring Huskies, whose 44 goals in 12 league games were 11 better than any other Canada West team, displayed their firepower in the conference final when they defeated the Golden Bears 4-2 to capture the first CWUAA title in program history. Saskatchewan also opened against the hosts a year ago in their first-ever CIS tournament appearance, dropping a heartbreaking overtime decision to UNB.

 

UPEI had an up-and-down campaign in the Atlantic conference, finishing with a 5-2-6 league record before going 1-1 at the AUS championship, including a 1-0 loss to Cape Breton in the semis. The Panthers held their own against AUS champion UNB however, battling the V-Reds to a pair of draws during the regular schedule. 

 

“It was our goal to return after last year’s first appearance and we accomplished that,” says Saskatchewan head coach Bryce Chapman. “As always this tournament is made up of the eight top teams in the country so every game will be a challenge and we look forward to showing what soccer at the University of Saskatchewan and in our province is about. We have an eager and skilled group who works hard and is ready for this challenge.” 

 

If York is the pre-tournament favourite in the bottom part of the draw, UNB probably deserves the honour in the top half.

 

The Varsity Reds’ goal differential en route to an 11-0-2 league record was a stellar 34-6. In the playoffs, they dominated Memorial 5-0 in the AUS semis and were on their way to another shutout in the final against Cape Breton before allowing a goal in the 86th minute of a 2-1 win.     

 

Their opponents on Thursday, the McMaster Marauders, are also enjoying a superb season. After finishing right behind York in the OUA West standings with an 11-2-3 mark, the Marauders qualified for the CIS tourney for the third time in four years thanks to a thrilling PK victory over Ryerson in the OUA semis.

 

“We are excited to be back at the national championship for the third consecutive season,” says UNB coach Miles Pinsent, whose troops claimed CIS bronze on home turf a year ago and were ranked in the top four in the country all season. “We hope to draw on our successes from this year and our experiences from the previous championships as we prepare to compete against the best teams in the country.”

 

Last but not least, the UQAM-Alberta duel at 1:30 p.m. pits a Citadins team making its first appearance at the championship since 2010 and the third in program history against the perennial contender Golden Bears, who have reached the CIS gold-medal game 10 times in 14 previous trips, winning on four occasions.  

 

The Citadins are undefeated in 13 straight (11-0-2) since losing 5-4 to Montreal in a high-scoring season opener back on September 5. They avenged that loss on Sunday when they captured their first-ever RSEQ banner with a 1-0 defeat of the Carabins.

 

The Golden Bears went 6-3-3 in conference play, including a rough patch from mid-September to early October when they won only once in seven games. They came out of early hibernation just at the right time however, upsetting Calgary 1-0 in the Canada West quarters before scoring an impressive 2-0 win over defending CIS champion UBC in the semis.

 

“We’ve had a superb season thus far, with our only loss dating back to early September. We have won nine straight now and they weren’t just random wins. All season, we worked as a team, and that’s what we intend to do at the national championship,” says UQAM bench boss Christophe Dutarte. “Alberta is a tough first-round opponent. They eliminated UBC and they will be hard to beat. But we have showed the entire fall that we like challenges. We’re ready.” 

 

Official championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/msoc/index

 

SAM DAVIDSON MEMORIAL TROPHY CHAMPIONS:

 

2013 UBC (at UNB)

2012 UBC (at Laval)

2011 Victoria (at Victoria)

2010 York (at Toronto)

2009 Laval (at Trinity Western)

2008 York (at Carleton)

2007 UBC (at UBC)

2006 Alberta (at Alberta)

2005 UBC (at UPEI)

2004 Victoria (at Montreal / McGill)

2003 Alberta (at Montreal / McGill)

2002 Brock (at Carleton)

2001 Laurier (at Saint Mary's)

2000 Laurier (at McMaster)

1999 Western (at Victoria)

1998 Western (at McGill)

1997 McGill (at Dalhousie)

1996 Victoria (at York)

1995 Dalhousie (at UQTR)

1994 UBC (at UBC)

1993 Sherbrooke (at Acadia)

1992 UBC (at Guelph)

1991 UBC (at Queen's)

1990 UBC (at Guelph)

1989 UBC (at UBC)

1988 Toronto (at UBC)

1987 Victoria (at McGill)

1986 UBC (at Toronto)

1985 UBC (at UBC)

1984 UBC (at Carleton)

1983 Laurentian (at Laurentian)

1982 McGill (at McGill)

1981 McGill (at Alberta)

1980 UNB (at UNB)

1979 Alberta (at Alberta)

1978 Manitoba (at Concordia)

1977 York (at Waterloo)

1976 Concordia (at Concordia)

1975 Victoria (at Victoria)

1974 UBC (at Concordia)

1973 Loyola (at Memorial)

1972 Alberta (at York)

1971 Laurentian

1970 Memorial

 

PARTICIPATING TEAMS:

 

UNB Varsity Reds (AUS champions)

 

Head Coach: Miles Pinsent (12th season)

Regular season record: 11-0-2

Regular season standing: 1st AUS

Playoff record: 2-0

Playoff finish: AUS champions

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 2  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (3 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9

Conference award winners: Shea Nordheim (student-athlete & community service)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Steven Miller (D), Diego Padilha (M), Marcus Lees (S)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Aaron McMurray (G), Oliver Jones (S)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 9

CIS championship all-time record: 4-10-1 (.300)

CIS championship all-time medals: 2 (1-0-1) *

CIS championship best result: 1-time champions (1980)

CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (bronze)

CIS championship sequence: 3rd straight appearance

 

* Also finished tied for third in 1982, 1986 and 1987 when no bronze-medal games were played.

 

UQAM Citadins (RSEQ champions)

 

Head Coach: Christophe Dutarte (18th season)

Regular season record: 9-1-2

Regular season standing: 1st RSEQ

Playoff record: 2-0

Playoff finish: RSEQ champions

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 5  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 5 (1 week)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 5

Conference award winners: Armel Dagrou (MVP), Christophe Dutarte (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Nizar Houhou (G), Maxime Leconte (D), Mathieu Yala (D), Felipe Costa de Souza (M), Armel Dagrou (S)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: James Louis-Jeune (M), Imad Agday (M)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 3

CIS championship all-time record: 2-3 (.400)

CIS championship all-time medals: 1 (0-0-1)

CIS championship best result: Bronze (1998)

CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (tied for 7th place)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 3-year absence

 

York Lions (OUA champions)

 

Head Coach: Carmine Isacco (8th season)

Regular season record: 14-0-2

Regular season standing: 1st OUA West

Playoff record: 3-0

Playoff finish: OUA champions

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 1  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (3 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9

Conference award winners (OUA West): Jarek Whiteman (MVP), Tyrone Downes (student-athlete & community service), Carmine Isacco (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Casey D’Mello (D), Daniel Fabrizi (D), Jonathan Lao (M), Joey Cicchillo (M), Jarek Whiteman (S)

Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Matt Stinson (M)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 8

CIS championship all-time record: 12-6-2 (.650)

CIS championship all-time medals: 4 (3-0-1)

CIS championship best result: 3-time champions (2010, 2008, 1977)

CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (4th place)

CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance

 

Saskatchewan Huskies (Canada West champions)

 

Head Coach: Bryce Chapman (11th season)

Regular season record: 9-1-2

Regular season standing: 1st Canada West Prairie

Playoff record: 3-0

Playoff finish: Canada West champions

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 4  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 4 (3 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9

Conference award winners: Luigi Bekwayo (student-athlete & community service), Bryce Chapman (coach)

Conference 1st team all-stars: Jordian Farahani (D), Brett Lewis (S)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Michal Bandula (G), Luigi Bekwayo (M)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 2

CIS championship all-time record: 1-2 (.333)

CIS championship all-time medals: 0

CIS championship best result: 6th place (2013)

CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (6th place)

CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance

 

Montreal Carabins (RSEQ silver medallists)

 

Head Coach: Pat Raimondo (14th season)

Regular season record: 6-2-4

Regular season standing: 3rd RSEQ

Playoff record: 1-1

Playoff finish: RSEQ silver medallists

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): Unranked  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 5 (1 week)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 5

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: Alexandre Haddad (D), Adama Sissoko (M)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Mircea Ilcu (S)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 9

CIS championship all-time record: 8-10-3 (.452)

CIS championship all-time medals: 3 (0-0-3)

CIS championship best result: 3-time bronze medallists (2008, 2006, 2003)

CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (5th place)

CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance (9th in 12 years)

 

McMaster Marauders (OUA silver medallists)

 

Head Coach: Dino Perri (7th season)

Regular season record: 11-2-3

Regular season standing: 2nd OUA West

Playoff record: 2-1

Playoff finish: OUA silver medallists

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 7  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 7 (2 weeks)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 6

Conference award winners (OUA West): None

Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Angelo Cavalluzzo (G), Nicholas Vecchi (D), Ryan Garnett (M)

Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Aleksander Vincic (D), Mark Reilly (S)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 9

CIS championship all-time record: 8-11-1 (.425)

CIS championship all-time medals: 3 (0-2-1)

CIS championship best result: 2-time silver medallists (1992, 1991)

CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (5th place)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence (3rd appearance in 4 years)

 

Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West silver medallists)

 

Head Coach: Len Vickery (30th season)

Regular season record: 6-3-3

Regular season standing: 3rd Canada West Prairie

Playoff record: 2-1

Playoff finish: Canada West silver medallists

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): Unranked  

Top 10 best ranking: No. 7 (1 week)

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 3

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: None

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Niko Saler (D), Tim Hickson (M), Christopher Gilroy (M)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 15

CIS championship all-time record: 20-13-3 (.597)

CIS championship all-time medals: 10 (4-6-0) *

CIS championship best result: 4-time champions (2006, 2003, 1979, 1972)

CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (tied 7th place)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence (4th appearance in 5 years)

 

* Also finished tied for third in 1988 when no bronze-medal game was played.

 

UPEI Panthers (AUS semifinalists)

 

Head Coach: Lewis Page (15th season)

Regular season record: 5-2-6

Regular season standing: 4th AUS

Playoff record: 1-1

Playoff finish: AUS semifinalists

Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): Unranked  

Top 10 best ranking: Unranked all season

Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 0

Conference award winners: None

Conference 1st team all-stars: Cole MacMillan (D)

Conference 2nd team all-stars: Adam Lowther (M), Jared Murphy (S)

CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 8th on record (CIS records incomplete)

CIS championship all-time record: 2-10 on record (.167) (CIS records incomplete)

CIS championship all-time medals: 0 on record (CIS records incomplete)

CIS championship best result: 3-times tied 3rd (1985, 1984, 1983: 0-1 each year - no bronze game)

CIS championship last appearance: 2009 (tied 7th place)

CIS championship sequence: Return after 4-year absence

 

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (ATLANTIC TIME)


Wednesday, Nov. 5

18:30 All-Canadian Awards Banquet (Hotel Rodd Royalty)


Thursday, Nov. 6
11:00 Quarter-final 1: McMaster vs. UNB (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

13:30 Quarter-final 2: Alberta vs. UQAM (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

16:00 Quarter-final 3: Montreal vs. York (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

19:00 Quarter-final 4: UPEI vs. Saskatchewan (www.CIS-SIC.tv)


Friday, Nov. 7
11:00 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

13:30 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

16:00 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

18:30 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

 

Saturday, Nov. 8

11:00 5th-place game (www.CIS-SIC.tv)


Sunday, Nov. 9

10:00 Bronze medal (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

13:00 Championship final (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

 

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

 

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on:

 

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