Women’s soccer: CIS National Championship review

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trinity western_spartans1

November 5, 2013, TORONTO (ISN) – The defending champion Trinity Western Spartans could make CIS women’s soccer history this weekend in Toronto as they enter the 2013 national tournament with four Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy titles, only one shy of UBC’s all-time record.

The eight-team competition runs from Thursday to Sunday at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Stadium with the national final scheduled for 4:30 p.m. All 11 games from the 27th CIS championship will be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

Trinity Western, which qualified as Canada West finalist this season, will be joined at the tourney by the Alberta Pandas (Canada West champions), Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (OUA champs), Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champs), Cape Breton Capers (AUS champs), Western Mustangs (OUA finalists), Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ finalists), as well as the host Varsity Blues.

The Spartans begin their title defence Thursday at 4:30 p.m. against Laurier in the third contest of opening day. The other quarter-finals will see Montreal battle Western at 11 a.m., Alberta take on Laval at 1:30 p.m., and Cape Breton square off against Toronto at 7 p.m.

In addition to TWU, which triumphed in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2012, Alberta (2001, 1997, 1989), Laurier (1995, 1992) and Cape Breton (2007) have hoisted the Gladys Bean Trophy in the past.

Despite a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime loss to the Pandas in last weekend’s Canada West final, Trinity Western has to be considered among the favourites to claim gold come Sunday.

The Spartans’ veteran-laden roster includes 11 players in their fourth or fifth university season. One of the key losses from last year’s squad was keeper Kristen Funk, but the two-time all-Canadian and three-time national champion was replaced by Carleton transfer Rachel Bedek, who was Funk’s teammate on the team that represented Canada at last summer’s Universiade in Russia.

The perennial contenders from Langley, B.C., who claimed gold the only previous time the tournament was held at the U of T in 2009, could also become the first team in history to repeat as CIS women’s soccer champs on two separate occasions on Sunday.

If history repeats itself, it should be boom or bust this week for the Spartans. In their six previous appearances on the national stage, they either won it all or lost in the first round en route to a last-place finish.

“It is an awesome opportunity to make it back to CIS championship for our group. We know it will be tough but we have been here before and hope that some of our experience will help us,” said 15-year head coach Graham Roxburgh, whose troops got off to a slow start in conference play (1-1-3) before finishing their Canada West schedule on a seven-game winning streak. “There are some strong teams in this year’s field so it is a matter of taking it one game at a time and being at your best on the day.”

After winning its first Canada West crown since 2001, Alberta would like nothing more than to stand in the Spartans’ way once again this week. The Pandas, whose only loss this season was a 2-0 setback against Trinity Western in their penultimate conference game, could match TWU’s four national titles with a triumph on Sunday.

“The teams at nationals are extremely competitive. Laval will bring the best of the RESQ to the first round and I anticipate this to be a formidable match. This is not about a team’s reputation but rather about who we are on the day,” said head coach Liz Jepsen, in her ninth season at the helm. “Every single person has been instrumental to our Canada West accomplishment this season. As a whole, we have the most parity that I have encountered across my time as head coach of this program.”

Fresh off its seventh AUS title in 11 years, Cape Breton is the only remaining undefeated team in the country (11-0-4 overall). Like Trinity Western, it has historically been all or nothing at the CIS championship for the Capers, who triumphed on home turf in 2007 but went 0-2 in each of their six other appearances at the competition.

“Our team this year is a great mix of veteran and new players,” said Stephen ‘Ness’ Timmons, who saw his Capers dominate Acadia 3-0 in the Atlantic final. “The leadership of our two captains has been instrumental to the team’s success. They have found a way to rally the girls game in and game out. It is a hard working group that relies on a total team approach on both ends of the field.”

The other two conference champions, Wilfrid Laurier and Montreal, are also regulars at the CIS tourney.

The two-time CIS champ Golden Hawks will compete for the Gladys Bean Trophy for the fourth straight season. Since reaching the final in 2010, however, they have gone 0-2 at nationals each of the past two years.

Meanwhile, the Carabins return after a one-year absence for their sixth appearance in seven years. Montreal came oh-so-close to winning its first CIS title in both 2009 and 2011, losing the gold-medal match on kicks on both occasions, first to Trinity Western and then against Queen’s.

“The one thing I don’t think people recognize is how young our team is,” said 18-year Laurier bench boss Barry MacLean, whose Hawks edged previously undefeated Western on PKs in the OUA final. “We have a couple of fourth-year players, but most of our players are in their first or second season. And we went through a few growing pains, learning how we’re going to play, and playing with the kind of composure we needed to. But the last three weeks of the season, I think we really rounded into shape.”

“In order to play to our potential and be successful, we’ll need to play as a group for three straight games,” said Kevin McConnell, who led Montreal to a 1-0 win over Laval in the RSEQ championship match, marking the team’s fifth conference banner in six years. “We’ve competed at the tournament numerous times in recent years so some of our players have experience on their side. We’re happy to be at the championship again and can’t wait to get going.”

Western, Laval and Toronto are also still looking for their first CIS banner but unlike Montreal, they have yet to really come close to hoisting the Bean Trophy.

The Rouge et Or and Mustangs are both making their seventh appearance at the championship this week. Interestingly enough, a Laval win over Western in the 2002 bronze-medal game remains the best-ever result at the CIS tourney for both programs.

As for the Blues, their only previous appearance was in 2009, when they also hosted the competition. They then finish in fifth position with a 2-1 record.

“We are very happy with the progress we have shown over the 2013 season,” said second-year Western coach Martin Painter, whose squad topped the final national rankings released a week ago after posting an 11-0-5 conference record. “This is the first CIS championship for all of our players and we are looking forward to the challenge. We know the level of play will be very high as there are some outstanding, experienced teams that will all be well prepared. This is a great test for our young team.”

“We got off to a great start this fall but our opponents adapted to our style as the season progressed. We hit a rough patch late in the schedule which cost us first place in our league standings,” said 19-year Laval coach Helder Duarte. “In the end, it was a blessing in disguise as it forced us to regroup and we had to go beat Sherbrooke on the road (in the RSEQ semis) to qualify for the CIS championship, something no team had been able to do this season. All the girls work towards the same objective and they really want to fight to go all the way.”

Toronto head coach Anthony Capotosto hopes home field will be an advantage for his Varsity Blues, who went 10-3-3 in league action before being upset in the first round of the playoffs.

“We are excited to be hosting the championship. Our team is coming off a great regular season and we are looking forward to playing in this tournament on our home field. We have prepared to the best of our ability and are excited for the quarter-final game on Thursday night against Cape Breton.

“Our staff has done an incredible job preparing for this championship. We welcome all the teams from across Canada to the University of Toronto for what will be a great showcase for CIS women’s soccer.”

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

GLADYS BEAN MEMORIAL TROPHY CHAMPIONS:

  • 2012 Trinity Western (at Victoria)
  • 2011 Queen’s (at McGill)
  • 2010 Queen’s (at UPEI)
  • 2009 Trinity Western (at Toronto)
  • 2008 Trinity Western (at Trinity Western)
  • 2007 Cape Breton (at Cape Breton)
  • 2006 UBC (at Victoria)
  • 2005 Victoria (at Alberta)
  • 2004 Trinity Western (at Montreal / McGill)
  • 2003 UBC (at Montreal / McGill)
  • 2002 UBC (at Alberta)
  • 2001 Alberta (at Carleton)
  • 2000 Dalhousie (at Acadia)
  • 1999 Dalhousie (at Laurier)
  • 1998 Calgary (at Victoria)
  • 1997 Alberta (at Laval)
  • 1996 Ottawa (at Dalhousie)
  • 1995 Laurier (at Carleton)
  • 1994 Dalhousie (at Alberta)
  • 1993 UBC (at McGill)
  • 1992 Laurier (at McMaster)
  • 1991 McMaster (at Guelph)
  • 1990 Acadia (at UBC)
  • 1989 Alberta (at Acadia)
  • 1988 Queen’s (at UBC)
  • 1987 UBC (at McGill)

PARTICIPATING TEAMS

Trinity Western Spartans (Canada West finalists)

  • Head Coach: Graham Roxburgh (15th season)
  • Regular season record: 8-1-3
  • Regular season standing: 4th Canada West
  • Playoff record: 2-1
  • Playoff finish: Canada West finalists
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 8
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (first 2 polls)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 7
  • Conference award winners: None
  • Conference 1st team all-stars: Jennifer Castillo (FB), Vanessa Kovacs (FB), Natalie Boyd (M), Krista Gommeringer (S)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars: Colleen Webber (FB)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 7
  • CIS championship all-time record: 14-3-1 (.806)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 4 (4-0-0)
  • CIS championship best result: 4-time champions (2012, 2009, 2008, 2004)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (champions)
  • CIS championship sequence: 3rd straight appearance (5th in 6 years)

Alberta Pandas (Canada West champions)

  • Head Coach: Liz Jepsen (9th season)
  • Regular season record: 9-1-2
  • Regular season standing: 2nd Canada West
  • Playoff record: 3-0
  • Playoff finish: Canada West champions
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 3
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (polls 6-7)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 6
  • Conference award winners: Julia Ignacio (MVP & Student-Athlete Award)
  • Conference 1st team all-stars: Shalla Kadima (FB), Julia Ignacio (S)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars: Kelti Biggs (G), Victoria Saccomani (FB)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 12
  • CIS championship all-time record: 20-7-4 (.645)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 9 (3-3-3)
  • CIS championship best result: 3-time champions (2001, 1997, 1989)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2011 (5th place)
  • CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence

Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (OUA champions)

  • Head Coach: Barry MacLean (18th season)
  • Regular season record: 9-3-4
  • Regular season standing: 2nd OUA West
  • Playoff record: 3-0
  • Playoff finish: OUA champions
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 10
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 8 (1st poll)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 4
  • Conference award winners (OUA West): Emily Brown (MVP)
  • Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Kelsey Tikka (D), Julie Maheu (M), Katie Bishop (M), Emily Brown (S)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Sarah Farano (D)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 12
  • CIS championship all-time record: 14-13-0 (.519)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 5 (2-1-2)
  • CIS championship best result: 2-time champions (1995, 1992)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (tied 7th place)
  • CIS championship sequence: 4th straight appearance

Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions)

  • Head Coach: Kevin McConnell (9th season)
  • Regular season record: 11-1-2
  • Regular season standing: 1st RSEQ
  • Playoff record: 2-0
  • Playoff finish: RSEQ champions
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 2
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (last poll)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
  • Conference award winners: Kevin McConnell (coach)
  • Conference 1st team all-stars: Virginie Lévesque (D), Mona Ouirzane (D), Laura Chénard (M), Constance De Chantal Dumont (M)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars: Mélissa Gougeon (D)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 7
  • CIS championship all-time record: 9-9-0 (.500)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 3 (0-2-1)
  • CIS championship best result: 2-time silver medallists (2011, 2009)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2011 (silver medallists)
  • CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence (6th appearance in 7 years)

Cape Breton Capers (AUS champions)

  • Head Coach: Stephen Timmons (18th season)
  • Regular season record: 9-0-4
  • Regular season standing: 1st AUS
  • Playoff record: 2-0
  • Playoff finish: AUS champions
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 5
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 5 (last poll)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 6
  • Conference award winners: Karolyne Blain (MVP), Stephen Timmons (coach)
  • Conference 1st team all-stars: Tiffany O’Donnell (G), Robyn Novorolsky (D), Robbyn McNeill (M), Karolyne Blain (S)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars: Allison Bell-Davies (D)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 8
  • CIS championship all-time record: 3-12-0 (.200)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 1 (1-0-0)
  • CIS championship best result: 1-time champions (2007)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (tied 7th place)
  • CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance (7th in 9 years)

Western Mustangs (OUA finalists)

  • Head Coach: Martin Painter (2nd season)
  • Regular season record: 11-0-5
  • Regular season standing: 1st OUA West
  • Playoff record: 2-1
  • Playoff finish: OUA finalists
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 1
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (last poll)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 6
  • Conference award winners (OUA West): Jenna White (rookie), Martin Painter (coach)
  • Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Tori Edgar (G), Jenna White (D), Tianna Deluzio (M), Amanda Boyle (S)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Jess Friend (M), Lauren Winquist (S)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 7
  • CIS championship all-time record: 1-8-4 (.231)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 0
  • CIS championship best result: 4th place (2002)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2004 (tied 5th place)
  • CIS championship sequence: Return after 8-year absence

Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ finalists)

  • Head Coach: Helder Duarte (19th season)
  • Regular season record: 9-3-2
  • Regular season standing: 3rd RSEQ
  • Playoff record: 1-1
  • Playoff finish: RSEQ finalists
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 9
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 2 (polls 4-5)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 7
  • Conference award winners: Arielle Roy-Petitclerc (rookie)
  • Conference 1st team all-stars: Rachel Collard (D), Arielle Roy-Petitclerc (M), Gabrielle Lapointe (M), Mélissande Guy (S)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars: Alexandra Brunelle (M), Léa Chastenay-Joseph (S)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 7
  • CIS championship all-time record: 7-7-3 (.500)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 1 (0-0-1)
  • CIS championship best result: Bronze medallists (2002)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (5th place)
  • CIS championship sequence: Return after 2-year absence

Toronto Varsity Blues (hosts)

  • Head Coach: Anthony Capotosto (7th season)
  • Regular season record: 10-3-3
  • Regular season standing: 2nd OUA East
  • Playoff record: 0-1
  • Playoff finish: OUA East quarter-finalists
  • Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): Unranked
  • Top 10 best ranking: No. 7 (polls 7-8)
  • Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 3
  • Conference award winners (OUA East): Caroline Murphy (Community Service Award)
  • Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Diana Esteireiro (D), Olivia Gonsalves (M), Aisha Lewis (S)
  • Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Fatima Braimoh (D), Claudia Piazza (M)
  • CIS championship appearances (including 2013): 2
  • CIS championship all-time record: 2-1-0 (.667)
  • CIS championship all-time medals: 0
  • CIS championship best result: 5th place (2009)
  • CIS championship last appearance: 2009 (5th place)
  • CIS championship sequence: Return after 3-year absence (2nd appearance in history)

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Nov. 6

  • 18:30 All-Canadian Awards Banquet (Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel)

Thursday, Nov. 7

  • 11:00 Quarter-final 1: Montreal vs. Western
  • 13:30 Quarter-final 2: Alberta vs. Laval
  • 16:30 Quarter-final 3: Wilfrid Laurier vs. Trinity Western
  • 19:00 Quarter-final 4: Cape Breton vs. Toronto

Friday, Nov. 8

  • 13:30 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2
  • 16:30 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4

Saturday, Nov. 9

  • 13:30 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2
  • 16:30 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4

Sunday, Nov. 10

  • 11:00 5th-place game
  • 13:30 Bronze medal
  • 16:30 Championship final

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CIS_SIC 

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