McMaster men’s soccer shine at OUA west division awards

The No. 7 nationally ranked McMaster Marauders and Guelph Gryphons lead the way with players recognized as Ontario University Athletics (OUA) releases the west division men’s soccer all-stars and major award winners.

The Marauders had one of their most successful regular seasons by earning 10 victories, the most in over a decade, and also finished tied for the conference and nation lead with 41 goals scored. Six players have earned all-star status for their breakout year including goalkeeper Matt Grant (Brampton, Ont.), defenders Anthony Costa (Stoney Creek, Ont.) and Garret McConville (Ottawa, Ont.), and midfielder Gersi Xhuti (Etobicoke, Ont.). These four players have all been named to the first-team all-star list. Fourth year keeper Grant backstopped the Marauders to a third best 10 goals against on the season and picks up his second consecutive first-team honour. This is McConville’s first appearance on the first-team after earning second-team all-star status in 2009. In addition to being a first-team all-star, Gersi Xhuti has been named this year’s west division OUA Rookie of the Year. The midfielder scored seven goals, good for second on the team and tied for 11th in the conference. Representing McMaster on the second-team is midfielder Aaron Boothe (Whitby, Ont.) and striker Mark Reilly (Hamilton, Ont.).

Like McMaster, the Guelph Gryphons had a productive season and have been rewarded with three all-stars and two major award winners. This year’s west division OUA Most Valuable Player is striker Robbie Murphy. The Ottawa native led the conference with 16 goals in 14 games and became the Gryphons’ all-time leading scorer after surpassing the previous mark of 25 career goals with his 31 goals in just his third season. Murphy has also been named a first-team all-star for the second time in his career. On the second-team is defender Tom Paron (Grimsby, Ont.) and now two-time all-star Dena Iezady (Richmond Hill, Ont.) at the midfield position. This is a young group of all-stars and should make Guelph successful for years to come. Gryphons head coach Keith Mason takes home the west division Coach of the Year honours after leading his team to 10 victories, double the number they won a year ago. In his 11th season as head coach, this is Mason’s first time winning the award.

The defending national champion and No. 1 ranked York Lions had another successful campaign and take home five all-star awards. Defender Luigi Oliverio (Toronto, Ont.), midfielders Alon Badat (Thornhill, Ont.) and Ilya Orlov (Woodbridge, Ont.), and striker Adrian Pena (Woodbridge, Ont.) have all been named to the first-team all-star list. Badat and Pena led the offensive attack with 14 and 12 goals each, good for second and fourth in the conference, respectively. Midfielder Charles Trafford (Calgary, Alta.) and goalkeeper Sotiri Varlokostas (Toronto, Ont.) have been named to the second-team all-star squad. Varlokostas allowed an OUA low eight goals against.

Defender Dominic Bell (Waterloo, Ont.) and midfielder Haris Cekic (London, Ont.) represent the Western Mustangs on the first-team all-star list. Cekic scored nearly half the Mustangs’ goals and finished seventh in league scoring with 10 goals. Teammates Paul D’Amario (Vaughan, Ont.) and Andrew Walton (Vaughan, Ont.) have both been named all-stars for the second time in their careers as they appear on the second-team.

A pair of Laurier Golden Hawks have been named to this year’s second-team all-star squad as Donald Chmura (Waterloo, Ont.) picks up his second career all-star nod and is joined by defender Trevor Schein (Brantford, Ont.). Chmura led the Hawks with five goals this season and Schein was a staple on the Hawks’ defence all season.

Defender Aldo Maiorano (Whitby, Ont.) has earned the UOIT Ridgebacks’ first ever all-star award as he has been named to the second-team. In his first season with the team, Maiorano established himself as a leader on the backline and contributed to the much improved defence, one that reduced the team’s goals against to 39 from 63 a season ago.