TWU Spartans Gant, Ambaka named Canada West All-Stars

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October 31, 2013, VANCOUVER (ISN) – Trinity Western men’s soccer midfielder Brayden Gant (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and striker Jarvis Ambaka (Maragoli, Kenya) were both named Canada West Second Team All-Stars Wednesday night prior to the Canada West Final Six tournament, which starts Thursday.

This is the third year in a row Gant has been selected as a conference all-star after being named to the First Team last year and the Second Team in 2011. Last year, he was also named a CIS Second Team All-Canadian. For Ambaka, this is the second year in a row he has been named a Canada West Second Team All-Star.

Gant played 770 minutes this year for TWU, starting all nine of the games he played and finishing with one goal and 14 shots. Ambaka started 11 of the 12 games he played and led the Spartans in points with two goals and three assists in 922 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds made a clean sweep of annual Canada West men’s soccer individual awards.

This marks the first time since 2000 that a single team has won every conference men’s soccer honour.

Midfielder Reynold Stewart was named Most Valuable Player after leading the UBC Thunderbirds to a 12-1-0 record during the regular season and first overall in the conference.

The fifth-year Arts student played in all 13 games for Thunderbirds in 2013 finishing tied for fourth in the Canada West in goals (eight) and points (13). He was a key reason why the Thunderbirds were not only the prolific offence in the conference, averaging 3.62 goals per game, but also the best defence in the Canada West, giving up just eight goals in 13 games.

“We are thrilled for Reynold to be recognized as the MVP of the Canada West,” said UBC head coach Mike Mosher. “This is a prestigious honour with so many quality student-athletes in the Canada West conference. He is a quality attacking player who is one of the best passers I have seen at UBC, but he also is a real threat to score goals as a result Reynold has become a top player as well as a real leader for our team.”

A former member of the Vancouver Whitecaps Under-23 team, Stewart, who was a 2012 CIS Championship Tournament All-Star last season, hopes to finish off his collegiate career with another Canada West banner and CIS Championship title.

UBC’s Sean Einarsson was named Rookie of the Year, as the midfielder/defender had an immediate impact in the Thunderbirds lineup, starting in all 11 games he played.

A native of Surrey, B.C., Einarsson was a big reason the Thunderbirds only surrendered eight goals in 13 games this season. He also chipped in offensively with three goals and five points.

“It has been great to see the development and progress of Sean over the past year,” said UBC head coach Mike Mosher. “Last year he red-shirted after coming off a significant shoulder surgery, but over the past several months his progress on the field has been terrific. Sean is a very intelligent person and this translates onto the field where he can play in many positions. His emergence in a holding midfield role early in the season made it possible for us to put others into positions where they could shine and thus made the team collectively better.”

A student in the Faculty of Applied Science, Einarsson and the Thunderbirds look to continue their stellar season when they host the Canada West Playoffs beginning Oct. 31.

Fourth-year defender Paul Clerc of the UBC Thunderbirds is the winner of the Student-Athlete Community Award. One of the premiere defenders in the Canada West, Clerc started all 13 games for UBC this season, helping the Thunderbirds to a 12-1-0 record.

The Coquitlam, B.C. native was a big reason the Thunderbirds only gave up eight goals in 13 games this season, tops in the Canada West. He also chipped in with six goals offensively.

A 2012 first team Canada West All-Star and a 2012 CIS Championship Tournament All-Star, Clerc was recently named one of the Top 8 Academic All-Canadians in the CIS. He is a three-time Academic All-Canadian in the Faculty of Kinesiology.

In the community, Clerc has been a lifeguard and swimming instructor at the UBC Aquatic Centre for the past three years. In 2013, he also held a volunteer position with the Healthy Heart Program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, and was a personal trainer at the UBC Bodyworks Fitness Centre.

“Paul has been an absolute pleasure to coach and have as a part of our soccer program for the past four years,” said UBC head coach Mike Mosher. “Paul is an extremely focused individual who brings his best every time when it comes to practices or games. He also brings this same focus and determination to all that he does off the field as well, as evidenced by his performance in the classroom and the roles he plays in the community. He is a very intelligent young man who has a bright future in front of him.”

For just the second time in his 18-year career, UBC head coach Mike Mosher is the conference Coach of the Year. He previously won the award in 2009.

This season Mosher led the Thunderbirds to a 12-1-0 season and first place in the Canada West, while holding down the CIS No. 1 ranking for the majority of the season.

“Year in and year out, Mike produces teams that challenge to win a national title,” said Theresa Hanson, UBC’s Associate Director of Athletics. “We’ve been involved in university sport long enough to know that it’s very rare that a coach gets to celebrate a coach of the year award, at the same time his athletes are recognized for player, rookie and student-athlete of the year – this is a well-deserved honour.”

During his tenure at UBC, Mosher has led the Thunderbirds to four Canada West Championships and three CIS Championship titles. This year, Mosher looks for the Thunderbirds to become the first team to win back-to-back CIS titles since Victoria in 2003-04.

Mosher now has a career record of 136-43-42.

UBC was also awarded the Fair Play Award. “This has been a very special group for the last couple of years, and they have been a pleasure and privilege to work with,” said Thunderbirds head coach Mike Mosher. “They are committed, hard-working, disciplined and intelligent in all that they do, and there is not a lot more we could ask of them. These young men epitomize what is great and inspiring about varsity sport, and are a testament to how sport can play such a vital role in developing young adults who will be leaders in their communities for years to come.”

Following is a list of 2013 Canada West men’s soccer Awards & All-Stars:

AWARDS

Most Valuable Player: Reynold Stewart, UBC

Rookie of the Year: Sean Einarsson, UBC

Student-Athlete Community Service: Paul Clerc, UBC

Coach of the Year: Mike Mosher, UBC

Fair Play Award: UBC

ALL-STARS (alphabetical by position)

                            First Team                             Second Team

Goalkeeper      Elliot Mitrou, Victoria              Jay Vetsch, Alberta

Defence           Paul Clerc, UBC                      Bryan Fong, UBC

                       Sean Einarsson, UBC              Brayden Gant, TWU

                       Jordian Farahani, Sask.          James Gourlay, Calgary

                       Andrew Ravenhill, Victoria      Brandon Holmes, Sask.

                       Niko Saler, Alberta                 Eddy Sidra, Alberta

Offence          Niall Cousens, UBC                Jarvis Ambaka, TWU

                      Cam Hundal, Victoria              Marcus Johnstone, Alberta

                      Brett Levis, Sask.                   Harry Lakhan, UBC

                      Navid Mashinchi, UBC            Milad Mehrabi, UBC

                      Reynold Stewart, UBC          Cam Stokes, Victoria

2013 All-Stars with previous selections…

Jarvis Ambaka: 2012 CW 2nd

Paul Clerc: 2012 CIS Tournament All-Star, 2012 CW 1st

Brayden Gant: 2012 CW 1st & CIS 2nd, 2011 CW 2nd

Cam Hundal: 2012 CW 2nd, 2011 CIS Tournament All-Star, 2011 CW Rookie of the Year, 2011 CW 2nd

Marcus Johnstone: 2012 CW & CIS 1st, 2010 CW & CIS Rookie of the Year, 2010 CW 1st

Brett Levis: 2012 CW 1st & CIS 2nd, 2011 CW 2nd

Navid Mashinchi: 2012 CW 1st, 2011 CW 1st

Elliot Mitrou: 2011 CW 1st & CIS 2nd

Andrew Ravenhill: 2012 CW 1st, 2011 CIS Tournament All-Star

Niko Saler: CW & CIS 2012 Rookie of the Year, 2012 CW 1st

Reynold Stewart: 2012 CIS Tournament All-Star

Jay Vetsch: 2012 CW & CIS 1st

This weekend the UBC Thunderbirds host the Canada West men’s soccer Final Six, with quarter-finals on Thursday, semifinals Friday and medal matches on Sunday. Both winners on Friday will also qualify for the national tournament.

Award winners now become finalists for Canadian Interuniversity Sport national awards, to be handed out at the end of the season. The 2013 CIS men’s soccer national championship will be hosted by the University of New Brunswick, November 7-10 in Fredericton.

About Canada West Universities Athletic Association

Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, winning 100 CIS national over the last 10 seasons. Comprised of 17 schools from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada West produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games. canadawest.org / canadawest.tv / @cwuaa on Twitter

 

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