VICTORIA – The Cape Breton Capers scored in the 70th minute on a redirection from Ian Greedy to defeat the Alberta Golden Bears 1-0 in the bronze-medal match at the 2011 CIS men’s soccer national championship.
Keishen Bean of Sandys, Bermuda, was extremely effective for the Capers, who won their first men’s soccer medal in team history.
“We’re absolutely thrilled. We’re a young team and this is a big step forward for our program,” said Capers head coach Robbie Chiasson, in his ninth season. “This is the first medal we’ve won for our men’s program, and we’re very pleased. It’s a step forward for this program and this school.”
The Capers defeated the OUA champion McMaster Marauders and Canada West champion Alberta but then loss to the eventual tourney champion Victoria in their semifinal, their lone blemish in three games in Victoria before earning thebronze.
It was a very good showing for both squads, with Alberta and Cape Breton exchanging chances.
Sandro Rajkovic, a tournament all-star from Hamilton, Ont., got the first early chance in the fifth minute after the ball shot out to the top of the box after a corner kick, but was stopped by Alberta goalkeeper Jay Vetsch of Edmonton.
Alberta’s Scott Gilroy of Edmonton blasted a ball off the crossbar in 17th minute, getting great placement on the ball from 25 yards out. Two minutes later, Golden Bears forward Marcus Johnstone of Edmonton had a partial breakaway but Capers fullback Damion Vassell of Hamilton, Ont., streaked in with an outstanding display of back-checking, to meet the ball before Johnstone could get it away, forcing a corner that came to nothing. The shot, if it had been hit before contact with the defender, would likely have caused trouble with two Alberta players following up on the rush.
Midway through the half, the teams exchanged a pair of dangerous chances. Andrew Hood of Calgary, who was later injured in the half, was stopped by Capers keeperAndrew Murphy of Liverpool, England. Then on the ensuing counter-attack, Bean delivered a beautiful cross that was headed just wide by Gregg Whitting of Farnsfield, England.
In the late stages of the half, Greedy fired a late first-half chance for CapeBreton, but his curling strike angled just over the bar in the 44th minute. The score was tied 0-0 at halftime.
Following a yellow card to Capers midfielder Rajkovic in the second half, Alberta midfielder Kellen Stenger of Edmonton thought he’d scored for the Golden Bears in the 51st minute, but the play was ruled offside following the redirectedfree kick.
The scoreless draw was finally broken in the 70th minute when Greedy deflected a cross from Capers teammate Shayne Hollis of Baileys Bay, Bermuda, into the top corner in the 70th minute for the game’s only goal.
The Golden Bears generated a couple of late chances but were unable to draw even.