Marauders looking forward to soccer challenge


A new national champion will be crowned this weekend when the best teams in the country gather in Quebec City for the 43rd Canadian Interuniversity Sport men’s soccer championship.

The single-elimination tournament gets underway Thursday (Nov. 8) at TELUS-Université Laval Stadium and culminates on Sunday with the gold-medal final at 2 p.m. All 11 games from the competition will be webcast live on CIS-SIC.tv.

The teams hoping to claim the Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy are the tourney host Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ finalists), as well as the UQTR Patriotes (RSEQ champions), Cape Breton Capers (AUS champs), UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists), McMaster Marauders (OUA champs), Carleton Ravens (OUA finalists), UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West champs) and Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West finalists).

Thursday’s quarter-finals include Cape Breton vs. Carleton at 11 a.m., UQTR vs. Alberta at 1:30 p.m., UBC vs. UNB at 4 p.m., and McMaster vs. Laval at 6:30 p.m.

UBC has won a record 11 national titles over the years but hasn’t hoisted the Davidson Trophy since 2007. Alberta (4), Laval (1) and UNB (1) have also triumphed in the past.

One team that won’t be competing for the coveted trophy this week is the Victoria Vikes, who last year captured the CIS banner on home turf. The Vikes were eliminated in the first round of the Canada West conference playoffs.

Laval head coach Samir Ghrib would love nothing more than to see his troops replicate UVic’s feat and become the 13th squad in history – and the fourth in seven years – to win it all at home.

“To play the championship at home, in front of family and friends, is truly a privilege, especially since you never know when, or if, your turn will come again,” said Ghrib, who has been at the helm of the Rouge et Or since the rebirth of the program in 2000 and has since led his club to a pair of appearances in the national final, including its lone CIS title in 2009.

“We know it’s going to be a magical week because so many people worked hard to put together this event. We’ll do everything we can to make it even more special come Sunday.”
The Rouge et Or were stellar in conference play and finished first in the RSEQ standings thanks to a 9-0-3 mark. They were one of only three teams across the country to remain undefeated throughout the regular season, along with UBC (11-0-3) and York (14-0-2). However, Laval was upset 2-1 in penalty kicks by UQTR in the Quebec final played at TELUS-UL Stadium.

That loss put the tournament hosts on the same side of the draw as conference champions UBC and McMaster, as well as UNB, which claimed the regular season title in the AUS.

The Thunderbirds, who edged Alberta 2-1 in the Canada West title match, are by far the most decorated program in the history of CIS men’s soccer. UBC has won a record 11 Davidson Trophies, seven more than any other school, and shows an astonishing all-time mark of 35-5-1 (.866) at the CIS championship, including 15 appearances in the gold-medal game.

“I’ve been saying it for years, I think Canada West does a great job of preparing teams to compete at national championships simply because of the level of competition we face every week,” said head coach Mike Mosher, whose T-Birds were the highest-scoring team in CIS in conference play with 45 goals in 14 contests. “What we’ve faced at our conference championship, and all season really, is as high of a level you’re going to find anywhere in Canada, so I like where we’re at from a preparation standpoint. We go out to Laval with the same expectation we have for every game and every championship, and that is that we want to win it.”

“I’m really proud of our group and what we have done so far. To go undefeated through a tough Canada West conference is a real accomplishment. The core of this group has had some defeats in the last two years, including a loss in the 2010 CIS final and a 90th minute loss in last year’s Canada West final so they are a motivated and determined group looking to try and win the big prize of a CIS championship.”

The Marauders finished second behind York in the OUA West division (12-1-3) and then went on an offensive tear in the playoffs with 12 goals in three games, including a stunning 5-0 domination of Carleton in the Ontario final. McMaster placed sixth at last year’s CIS tournament.

“Once you get to this point in the season there are no easy games,” said Mac sideline boss Dino Perri. “We know that we will have to be at our very best for every game in order to be victorious, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

UNB returns to the show for the first time since a seventh-place finish in 2006. The V-Reds took first place by a single point over Saint Mary’s in league play – ending the schedule with eight straight shutout wins – but then fell 2-0 to Cape Breton in the AUS championship match.

On the other side of the draw, Alberta is the only team that has claimed the Davidson Trophy in the past. UQTR, Cape Breton and Carleton are all looking for their first triumph.

The Golden Bears, who barely missed out on a second straight Canada West title, losing to UBC in OT, return to the national tournament for the third year in a row but are looking for their first CIS medal since they last captured gold in 2006. Since then, Alberta has placed seventh in 2010 and fourth last fall.

The upstart Patriotes surprised quite a few experts this season, first by taking second place in the RSEQ in league play with a 7-2-3 record, and then by winning their first conference title since 2001, and only the third in program history. UQTR will be looking for its first-ever CIS championship victory this week after going 0-2 in 2001 and 0-1-1 in 1995.

The Capers had never competed at the CIS tournament before 2007 but have now become regulars at the event and will compete for the Davidson Trophy for the fourth time in six seasons. Cape Breton had its best-ever result on the national stage a year ago with a bronze-medal finish.

The Ravens are returning to the nationals for the first time since 2008. Carleton’s defensive breakdown against McMaster in the OUA final was very uncharacteristic for a team that had allowed less than one goal per game in the regular season (13 in 14 games) and had blanked the top-ranked team in the country, York, for 120 minutes in the OUA semis en route to a 1-0 upset win on the Lions’ field.

SAM DAVIDSON MEMORIAL TROPHY CHAMPIONS

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 TEAM PROFILES

McMaster Marauders (OUA champions)
Head Coach: Dino Perri (5th season)
Regular season record: 12-1-3
Regular season standing: 2nd OUA West (2nd overall OUA)
Playoff record: 3-0
Playoff finish: OUA champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): No. 3
Top 10 best ranking: No. 3 (final poll)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
Conference award winners (OUA West): None
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Andrew Pastoric (D), Ryan Garnet (M), Mark Reilly (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Angelo Cavalluzzo (G), Garet McConville (D)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 8
CIS championship all-time record: 6-10-1 (.382)
CIS championship all-time medals: 3 (2 silver, 1 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 2-time finalists (1991, 1992)
CIS championship last appearance: 2011 (6th place)
CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance (3rd in 4 years)

Cape Breton Capers (AUS champions)
Head Coach: Robbie Chiasson (10th season)
Regular season record: 6-3-4
Regular season standing: 3rd AUS
Playoff record: 3-0
Playoff finish: AUS champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): Unranked
Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (2nd poll)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 3
Conference award winners: None
Conference 1st team all-stars: Sandro Rajkovic (D), Jason Massie (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Andrew Rigby (M), Shayne Hollis (S)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 4
CIS championship all-time record: 3-5-0 (.375)
CIS championship all-time medals: 1 (1 bronze)
CIS championship best result: bronze (2011)
CIS championship last appearance: 2011 (bronze)
CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance (4th in 6 years)

UQTR Patriotes (RSEQ champions)
Head Coach: Pierre Clermont (21st season)
Regular season record: 7-2-3
Regular season standing: 2nd RSEQ
Playoff record: 2-0
Playoff finish: RSEQ champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): Unranked
Top 10 best ranking: Unranked all season
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 0
Conference award winners: Pierre Clermont (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Guillaume Surot (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Raphaël Bélanger-Vaillancourt (G), Louis-Thomas Fortier (D), Jean-François Fournier (M), Émile Dufour-Gallant (F)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 3
CIS championship all-time record: 0-3-1 (.125)
CIS championship all-time medals: 0
CIS championship best result: Tied 5th place (1995, 2001)
CIS championship last appearance: 2001 (tied 5th place)
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance since 2001

UBC Thunderbirds (Canada West champions)
Head Coach: Mike Mosher (17th season)
Regular season record: 11-0-3
Regular season standing: 1st Canada West Pacific (1st overall CW)
Playoff record: 2-0
Playoff finish: Canada West champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): No. 2
Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (last 5 polls)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
Conference award winners: Gagandeep Dosanjh (MVP)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Paul Clerc (D), Will Hyde (D), Navid Mashinchi (M), Marco Visintin (M), Gagandeep Dosanjh (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Brandon Bonifacio (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 17
CIS championship all-time record: 35-5-1 (.866)
CIS championship all-time medals: 15 (11 gold, 4 silver)
CIS championship best result: CIS record 11-time champions (2007, ‘05, ‘94, ‘92, ‘91, ‘90, ‘89, ‘86, ‘85, ‘84, ‘74)
CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (finalists)
CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence

UNB Varsity Reds (AUS finalists)
Head Coach: Miles Pinsent (10th season)
Regular season record: 9-3-1
Regular season standing: 1st AUS
Playoff record: 1-1
Playoff finish: AUS finalists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): Tied No. 10
Top 10 best ranking: Tied No. 10 (final poll)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 1
Conference award winners: Miles Pinsent (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Ben Law (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Aaron McMurray (G), Rod Ramsden (D), Jason Bessey (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 7
CIS championship all-time record: 2-7-1 (.250)
CIS championship all-time medals: 1 (1 gold) *
CIS championship best result: 1-time champions (1980)
CIS championship last appearance: 2006 (tied 7th place)
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance since 2006
* Also finished tied for third in 1982, 1986 and 1987 when no bronze-medal games were played.

Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ finalists)
Head Coach: Samir Ghrib (13th season)
Regular season record: 9-0-3
Regular season standing: 1st RSEQ
Playoff record: 1-1
Playoff finish: RSEQ finalists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): No. 9
Top 10 best ranking: No. 7 (1 week)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 5
Conference award winners: Samuel Georget (MVP), Laurence Hone-Blancher (rookie), Vincent Cournoyer (student-athlete & community service)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Nafi Dicko-Raynault (D), Samuel Georget (M), Patrice Dion (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Guillaume Barette (D), Eduardo Davalos (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 7
CIS championship all-time record: 8-9-0 (.471)
CIS championship all-time medals: 2 (1 gold, 1 silver)
CIS championship best result: 1-time champions (2009)
CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (6th place)
CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence (7th appearance in 8 years)

Carleton Ravens (OUA finalists)
Head Coach: Sandy Mackie (20th season)
Regular season record: 10-2-2
Regular season standing: 2nd OUA East (4th overall OUA)
Playoff record: 2-1
Playoff finish: OUA finalists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): Tied No. 10
Top 10 best ranking: No. 8 (1 week)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 8
Conference award winners (OUA East): Andrew Latty (MVP)
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Michael Calof (D), Joey Kewin (M), Andrew Latty (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Sam McHugh (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 6
CIS championship all-time record: 4-7-1 (.375)
CIS championship all-time medals: 2 (2 silver)
CIS championship best result: 2-time finalists (1984, 2002)
CIS championship last appearance: 2008 (5th place)
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance since 2008

Alberta Golden Bears (Canada West finalists)
Head Coach: Len Vickery (28th season)
Regular season record: 9-2-4
Regular season standing: 1st Canada West Prairie (Tied 2nd overall CW)
Playoff record: 1-1
Playoff finish: Canada West finalists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 30): No. 4
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (polls 2 & 3)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
Conference award winners: Niko Saler (rookie)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Jay Vetsch (G), Niko Saler (D), Marcus Johnstone (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Scott Gilroy (D), Zenon Markevych (M), Cam Schmidt (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2012): 14
CIS championship all-time record: 20-11-3 (.632)
CIS championship all-time medals: 10 (4 gold, 6 silver) *
CIS championship best result: 4-time champions (1972, 1979, 2003, 2006)
CIS championship last appearance: 2011 (4th place)
CIS championship sequence: 3rd straight appearance
* Also finished tied for third in 1988 when no bronze-medal game was played.

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

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

Wednesday, Nov. 7
18:30 All-Canadian Awards Banquet (Loews Le Concorde Hotel)

Thursday, Nov. 8
11:00 Quarter-final 1: Cape Breton vs. Carleton (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)
13:30 Quarter-final 2: UQTR vs. Alberta (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)
16:00 Quarter-final 3: UBC vs. UNB (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)
18:30 Quarter-final 4: McMaster vs. Laval (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)

Friday, Nov. 9
11:00 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2 (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)
13:30 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)
16:00 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)
18:30 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)

Saturday, Nov. 10
11:00 5th-place game (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)

Sunday, Nov. 11
11:30 Bronze medal (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)
14:00 Championship final (CIS-SIC.tv webcast)