Guelph’s Murphy named player of the year

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gryphons

Michel Belanger

Robbie Murphy, a third-year striker from the University of Guelph, was named the Canadian Interuniversity Sport player of the year in men’s soccer, Wednesday evening.

The native of Ottawa became the first-ever Gryphon to claim the Joe Johnson memorial trophy, two years after becoming the first Guelph player to merit CIS rookie-of-the-year honours.

Other individual award winners announced in Victoria during the All-Canadian banquet were Montreal’s Alexandre Haddad, a defender from Montreal who was named rookie of the year and received the Lou Bilek award; Mount Allison’s Stuart McAdam, a midfielder from Halifax who captured the Student-Athlete Community Service award; as well as Guelph’s Keith Mason, who earn the coach-of-the-year award, presented by Coaches of Canada.

The 2011 CIS championship, hosted by the University of Victoria, kicks off Thursday and runs until Sunday’s gold-medal final at 2 p.m. Pacific. All games from the tournament will be webcast by SSN Canada.

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

JOE JOHNSON MEMORIAL TROPHY (player of the year): Robbie Murphy, Guelph

In only three seasons at Guelph, Murphy has already established himself as one of the best players in Gryphon history. This fall, the 6-foot, 174-pound team captain led OUA with 16 goals in 14 conference games en route to his third straight selection as an OUA West all-star – including a pair on the first-team – and his first nod as an all-Canadian.

His strong play helped the Gryphons to third place in the OUA West standings with a 10-4-2 mark – up from 5-8-3 a year ago. Guelph then earned its first playoff victory since 2003, a 4-2 win over Brock, before dropping a 2-0 decision to eventual conference champion McMaster in the quarter-finals.

The accounting student, who in only three seasons became the Gryphons’ all-time leading scorer with 31 markers, comes from an athletic family. His father played football for the University of Ottawa, while two members of his extended family were professional athletes. Mike Murphy was a member of the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders and Frank Finnigan won the Stanley Cup with the Ottawa Senators of the NHL.

“Robbie is a true professional in everything he does. His dedication to the team both on and off the field is second to none,” said head coach Mason. “He is a great leader and one of the most talented goal scorers I have met, and his 16 goals this season helped contribute to the Gryphons’ best season in over 20 years. He was the most valuable player in every sense of the word.”

The other nominees for the Joe Johnson trophy were midfielders Andrew Rigby of Cape Breton and Samuel Georget of Laval, as well as Saskatchewan striker Jerson Barandica-Hamilton.

LOU BILEK AWARD (rookie of the year): Alexandre Haddad, Montreal

Haddad, whose brother Bechara played for the Concordia Stingers in 2009-10, is the second member of the Carabins to be named CIS rookie of the year after goalkeeper Gerardo Argento in 2005.

The 20-year-old central defender was inserted into the starting lineup from day one and is already one of the pillars of the Montreal defensive unit despite his freshman status. The Carabins had the stingiest defence in the country in the regular season with only seven goals allowed in 12 games. Thanks in large part to this quiet leader, Montreal finished first in the Quebec standings in conference play and claimed their first RSEQ banner since 2008.

Haddad’s performance in his university debut is even more remarkable considering the fact he recently came back from a serious injury. After having foot surgery, the economics and politics student was kept off the field for an entire year and only started playing again a few months ago in a summer league.

“We knew he was a good player but we were surprised by the impact he had so early in the season,” said Montreal head coach Pat Raimondo. “Then again, Alexandre has such a great attitude that it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. He always looks so calm, so confident. Whether at practice or before a game, he’s always the first player to take the field. He is mature beyond his age.”

Dalhousie midfielder Bezick Evraire, Ryerson forward Jamie Baker and Victoria midfielder Cam Hundal were also in the running for the top-freshman award.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Stuart McAdam, Mount Allison

Playing centre midfield for the Mounties, McAdam made a giant impact from the moment he stepped onto the field, on the Mount Allison campus and into the Sackville, N.B., community. The chemistry major, who has a grade point average of over 4.2 the last four years, still finds time in his busy schedule to do research, tutor, volunteer, coach, teach, and just be a good member of the community.

With his sights set on medicine in the future, McAdam has been volunteering as an executive member of Mount A’s chapter of Global Brigades, where he provides medical support and critical health care services to needy regions of Honduras every February during university reading week. In recent years, he has also volunteered at the QEII Hospital in Halifax, the Red Cross, the Health Equipment Loan Program, as well as with the Victorian Order of Nurses. This past summer while doing research for his thesis in Sackville, he assisted with the Drew Nursing Home residents and enjoyed it so much that he continued to provide his friendly service throughout the school year. He also found himself coaching Sackville’s under-16-18 boys’ soccer team.

During the academic year, McAdam is also a volunteer tutor, a calculus teaching assistant and a volunteer chemistry researcher. He is involved with Shinerama, Relay for Life, and as a volunteer in a “buddy e-mail” program.

“Stuart embodies the meaning of the word ‘student-athlete’, excelling both on the field and in his academics,” said Mount Allison head coach Roy Chineh. “He is just an exceptional individual and serves as an inspiration to both our team and the University community.”

The other nominees were Laval’s Vincent Cournoyer and Toronto’s Nicolas Girard.

COACH OF THE YEAR, presented by Coaches of Canada: Keith Mason, Guelph

Mason, who was born in West Bromwich, England, and moved to Canada in 1981, became the first Guelph men’s soccer bench boss to be honoured by his CIS peers.

In his 12th campaign at the helm, he led the Gryphons to their best record under his tutelage with a 10-4-2 mark, doubling their number of wins from a year ago. After taking third place in the OUA West standings, Guelph won its first playoff game since 2003 – against Brock – before dropping a 2-0 quarter-final decision to eventual conference champion and nationally seventh-ranked McMaster.

An Ontario Soccer Association instructor, coach and administrator since 1990, Mason is very active towards the growth of soccer in the city of Guelph and has dedicated a significant amount of his time towards the development of youth soccer. This past summer, he was an assistant with the Canadian men’s team at the Universiade in Shenzhen, China. It marked his second world university games experience as he occupied the dual role of team manager and assistant coach in 2003 in South Korea.

“The Gryphons’ recent success and progress over the last few years illustrates what a remarkable coaching job Keith is doing,” said Tom Kendall, director of athletics at the University of Guelph. “We congratulate him on his success. It is a well deserved honour for such a dedicated coach.”

UPEI co-head coaches Bruce Norton and Lewis Page, McGill’s David Simon and Victoria’s Bruce Wilson were the other finalists for the CIS coach-of-the-year award.

ALL-CANADIAN TEAMS

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday.

Joining Murphy on the first unit were conference MVPs Rigby, Georget and Barandica-Hamilton, Dalhousie goalkeeper Ben Ur, defenders Jason Gill of UBC, Anthony Costa of McMaster and Alexis Pradie of McGill, midfielders Darragh McGee of Toronto and Maxime Laurey of Montreal, as well as St. Francis Xavier forward Michael Marousek.

Gill, McGee and Marousek all return from last year’s top squad, while Rigby and Georget were members of the second team a year ago. Rigby had previously been voted to the first unit in 2009.

In addition to Haddad, the second all-Canadian team is comprised of Victoria goalie Elliot Mitrou, rearguards Gavin Barrett of Victoria and Rory Kennedy of Saint Mary’s, midfielders Navid Mashinchi of UBC, Alon Badat of York, Joey Kewin of Carleton and Jamar Dixon of StFX, as well as strikers Adrian Pena of York, Ian Greedy of Cape Breton and Sylvain Willot of Montreal.

Pena was a first-team CIS all-star last year, when he was also named MVP of the national championship after he led the Lions to a second title in three seasons.

CIS MEN’S SOCCER: 2011 AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Joe Johnson memorial trophy (player of the year): Robbie Murphy, Guelph

Lou Bilek award (rookie of the year): Alexandre Haddad, Montreal

Student-Athlete Community Service award: Stuart McAdam, Mount Allison

Coach of the year, presented by Coaches of Canada: Keith Mason, Guelph

First Team

Position Athlete University Year Hometown Faculty

Goalkeeper Ben Ur Dalhousie 5 Halifax, N.S. Arts

Defence Jason Gill UBC 5 Abbotsford, B.C. Arts

Defence Anthony Costa McMaster 5 Stoney Creek, Ont. Political Science

Defence Alexis Pradie McGill 3 Marseille, France Management

Midfeld Darragh McGee Toronto 5 Donegal, Ireland Grad Studies

Midfield Samuel Georget Laval 4 Segré, France Masters

Midfield Andrew Rigby Cape Breton 3 Wollaton, England Science

Midfield Maxime Laurey Montreal 2 St-Germain-en-Laye, France Arts & Sciences

Forward Robbie Murphy Guelph 3 Ottawa, Ont. Accounting

Forward Jerson Barandica-Hamilton Saskatchewan 5 Isla Mujeres, Mexico Engineering

Forward Michael Marousek StFX 5 Prague, Czech Republic Human Kinetics

Second Team

Goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou Victoria 3 Victoria, B.C. Social Sciences

Defence Gavin Barrett Victoria 3 Richmond, B.C. Social Sciences

Defence Alexandre Haddad Montreal 1 Montreal, Que. Economics

Defence Rory Kennedy Saint Mary’s 5 Halifax, N.S. Commerce

Midfield Navid Mashinchi UBC 2 Port Moody, B.C. Arts

Midfield Alon Badat York 2 Thornhill, Ont. Administration

Midfield Joey Kewin Carleton 3 London, Ont. Commerce

Midfield Jamar Dixon StFX 4 Ottawa, Ont. Human Kinetics

Forward Adrian Pena York 4 Woodbridge, Ont. Kinesiology

Forward Ian Greedy Cape Breton 2 Lower Sackville, N.S. Science

Forward Sylvain Willot Montreal 1 Ste-Catherine-lèsArras, France Arts & Sciences

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