City duo make OUA all-star soccer list

Two Hamilton soccer players were named to the Ontario University Athletics East men’s first all-star soccer team.

Laurentian Voyageurs defender Dan Mazzuca and midfielder Daniel Keir are also first-team all-stars. Keir cracked the Top 10 in OUA scoring with six goals this season. Mazzuca and Keir are both in their fifth year as Voyageurs. They join Carlo Castrechino, who was named the East’s coach of the year after leading the Voyageurs to a 6-6-2 record in regular season play, with the team ranked in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Top 10 for the first time in over a decade, reaching No. 7 in mid-September.

Fifth-year goalkeeper and 2008 East most valuable player Scott Cliff (Hanmer) is the East first-team’s all-star netminder for the second straight season. Cliff played in 14 games this season, recording five shutouts for the Voyageurs.

The Rams collect top accolades with Ryerson garnering three major player awards, including most valuable player. That honour went to Alex Braletic (Thornhill), a second-year midfielder. Braletic, who is also a first-team all-star for the first time, had a team-high three goals this season, helping the team to a 5-4-5 record, their best finish in several years.

Ryerson’s Michael Jan (Toronto) is the recipient of the T. Litzen Sports East rookie of the year award. The first-year defender played in 13 games this season and scored two goals.

The community service award, which is given to the player exemplifying the most commitment to his community through volunteering and involvement, goes to Ryerson’s Anthony Volpe (Brampton). The fourth-year goalkeeper has been a great asset to his team, challenging his teammates to play their best and helping the rookies keep up with the fast-paced life as student-athlete. Volpe has organized study sessions for the players and is there to assist when the team is on the road. He also keeps his teammates on schedule, making sure they attend classes and driving them to practices if classes run late. He is a leader, and well deserving of his captaincy.

Toronto also has three players on the first-team list, including striker Alex Raphael (East York), who was fifth in OUA scoring with seven goals. Raphael, who makes his first appearance as an all-star, was second in scoring for the Varsity Blues.

Blues’ defender Yannis Gianniotis (Toronto) is a first-team all-star for the second time in his career, while teammate Dylan Bams (Fanny Bay, B.C.), who scored two goals for the Blues this season, receives his first OUA all-star nod.

Joining Braletic on the first-team is teammate Markus Molder (Toronto). Molder, a second-year defender for the Rams, netted one goal this season.

Rounding out the first-team all-star list is Queen’s Gaels defender Andrew Nador (Kingston), Carleton Ravens midfielder Peter Manginas (Belleville) and Trent Excalibur striker Thaddeus Bolton (Bowmanville), who was third in OUA scoring with seven goals.

The second-team all-stars are led by Varsity Blues’ goalkeeper John Smits (Mississauga), who has recorded 11shutouts in 2009. Midfielder Mario Nallira (Etobicoke) and Nordo Gooden (Kingston, Jamaica) also represent Toronto on the list. Nallira, a three-time all-star, tallied three goals this season, while Gooden, a fourth-year striker, is in a two-way tie for top spot in OUA scoring, with eight goals in 14 games.

Three Nipissing Lakers are second-team all-stars, including defenders Sean Raposo (Brampton), Andrew Clarke (Newmarket) and midfielder Mohammed Nyangado (Latir Kunda, KMC).

Queen’s has three offensive players receiving all-stars nods, including midfielders Dan McBride (Kingston) and Mike Arnold (London) and striker Jordan Brooks (Angus). Brooks and Arnold each scored six goals in their third year with the Gaels.

In addition to receiving the rookie of the year honour, Jan also earns second-team all-star status. Laurentian’s fourth-year defender David Hysen (Sudbury) rounds out the Second Team.

The West men’s soccer major award winners and all-stars will be announced on Thursday.