T-Birds down Cape Breton for record 12th title

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UBC Thunderbirds

November 11, 2012, QUEBEC CITY (CIS) – The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds added to their record tally with a 1-0 win over the Cape Breton Capers in the gold-medal final of the 43rd CIS men’s soccer championship, Sunday afternoon at TELUS-Université Laval Stadium.

It marked a 12th Sam Davidson Memorial Trophy triumph for the Thunderbirds, eight more than any other program. UBC dominated throughout the tournament, outscoring their opponents 8-0 in total, including a 4-0 quarter-final victory over UNB on Thursday and a 3-0 shutout of host Laval in Friday’s semis.

The T-Birds end the season without a single loss in conference play (11-0-3), the Canada West playoffs (2-0) and at nationals (3-0).

Despite the loss, the AUS champion Capers still managed to achieve the school’s best-ever result at the CIS tourney. Cape Breton had captured bronze a year ago.

Steve Johnson, a fourth-year striker from Tsawwassenn, B.C., scored the lone goal of the final in the eighth minute and was named game MVP for the winners. Teammate Gagandeep Dosanjh, the Canada West player of the year from Abbotsford, B.C., was voted championship MVP after scoring a tournament four goals, including two against UNB and two more versus Laval.

After the game, UBC head coach Mike Mosher talked about his squad’s undefeated season. “Two good teams today, it’s a shame somebody had to lose. I’m really proud of my boys and the way they battled today and throughout this tournament. History was made today, as we were undefeated this season. It’s a real pleasure to work with this group,” Mosher said.

On the losing side, Capers coach Robbie Chiasson had nothing but praise for the Birds. “I tip my hat to UBC, they have a very good team, very skilled, very composed. We did our best, but it just wasn’t good enough today. Well done to them.”

“I’m just so proud of our guys to get to this point. Taking a small school like ours to a whole new level, our first-ever national championship final, is great for our program. We just keep climbing, bronze last year, silver this year. Who knows, maybe one of those years we’ll get to a gold medal,” Chiasson added.

As was the case in each of their championship games, the T-Birds opened the score early. In the eighth minute, Marco Visintin took a free kick from the wing 35 yards away from the net. Johnson skilfully deflected the ball over goalkeeper Andrew Murphy to make it 1-0.

Although they were unable to add to their lead, the first half was all UBC. The Canada West champions buzzed around Cape Breton’s goal for most of the half, including a chance by Reynold Stewart, who forced CBU’s keeper to make a nice save after a brilliant header in the 19th minute.

The Capers only directed one shot – wide – towards the Birds’ net in the first 45 minutes.

Defensive play dominated in the second frame, as fatigue seemed to seize both teams. The T-Birds still dominated time of possession, leaving absolutely no chance to the Capers for a comeback.

The only threat from the AUS champions came at the 82-minute mark. Murphy cleared his territory and his powerful kick crossed the entire field to reach teammate Paul Martin, whose header was controlled by goalkeeper Luke O’Shea and the menace was killed.

UBC only had to kill the remaining minutes to confirm the win and its 12th national title.

The University of New Brunswick will host the 2013 CIS championship in Fredericton.

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