Fifth years Mitrou, Ravenhill cap career with All-Canadian nod

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November 7, 2013, FREDERICTON (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes men’s soccer team are still heart-broken after being knocked out of a berth to the CIS national men’s soccer championship, hosted this week in Fredericton, N.B. Despite the loss, two Vikes ended their career with an All-Canadian nod. Keeper Elliot Mitrou was named to the CIS first team, while defender Andrew Ravenhill was named to the second team.

Alex Braletic, a fifth-year striker from Ryerson University, was named CIS player of the year in men’s soccer, Wednesday evening.

The Thornhill, Ont., product, who received the Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy, became the first student-athlete from his school to claim CIS-MVP honours in any sport.

Other national award winners announced during the All-Canadian Banquet held at the Fredericton Inn were York midfielder Jonathan Lao, who was named rookie of the year and received the Lou Bilek Award; Dalhousie defender Nathan Rogers, who claimed the Student-Athlete Community Service Award; as well as UBC’s Mike Mosher, who was voted coach of the year for the first time in his 18th season at the helm of the Thunderbirds.

The 2013 CIS championship kicks off Thursday at the University of New Brunswick’s BMO Centre and concludes Sunday with the gold-medal final scheduled for 2 p.m. Atlantic Time. All 11 matches from the eight-team tournament will be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

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

JOE JOHNSON MEMORIAL TROPHY (player of the year): Alex Braletic, Ryerson

In his fifth and final CIS season, his fourth with Ryerson after starting his university career at York, Braletic led the OUA conference with 13 goals in 12 games, more than his combined total in his first three campaigns with the team. Thanks to the stellar play of their co-captain and engineering student, the Rams finished first in the OUA East with a sparkling 12-0-2 mark and were the only undefeated team in the country at the end of league play.

Over the course of the season, Ryerson set program records in wins (12) and points (38) and reached their best-ever national ranking (No. 2). The Rams went on to qualify for the CIS championship for the first time in history.

Named a first-team all-Canadian this fall, Braletic finishes his career as a three-time CIS all-star, four-time member of the first OUA squad and two-time OUA East MVP.

“I’m really happy for Alex. He has had a great year,” said head coach Dr. Ivan Joseph. “As much as he has earned this individual recognition, his teammates have been of great support for him. This is more of a team award and proof of the strength of our work as a unit.”

The other nominees for the Joe Johnson Trophy were Cape Breton striker Ian Greedy, UQAM defender Jawad Guizaoui and UBC midfielder Reynold Stewart.

LOU BILEK AWARD (rookie of the year): Jonathan Lao, York

Lao is the third York player to capture the Bilek Award following Jamaal Smith in 2006 and Moreno Alberti in 2007.

The liberal arts student from Unionville, Ont., had an immediate impact on a strong Lions roster in his university debut, starting every game and finishing tied for second in OUA scoring – and tied for first in the OUA West – with 11 goals in 16 conference matches. He began his CIS career with a bang back in early September, netting two goals in each of his first two contests, including both game-winners, en route to CIS athlete-of-the-week honours.

In addition to the top-rookie award, Lao was named OUA West MVP and a first-team all-Canadian this season, a rare feat for a first-year player. He helped York to a first-place finish in its division, the OUA title and a spot in this week’s national championship.

The 5-foot-9 midfielder, who joined the Lions out of Bill Crothers Secondary School, is a former member of Toronto FC’s senior academy team and represented Canada at the 2009 CONCACAF under-17 championship in Mexico.

“Jon is technically one of the cleanest players I have seen in a long time,” said York head coach Carmine Isacco. “He is a dangerous player who can get a goal or an assist from anywhere on the field and he has been a tremendous attacking and defending asset for us this season. It took him no time to adjust to the level of play in the OUA and he has been a leader for us on and off the field.”

Midfielders Diego Padilha of UNB, Bila Dicko-Raynauld of Laval and Sean Einarsson of UBC were also in the running for the top-freshman award.

STUDENT-ATHLETE COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Nathan Rogers, Dalhousie

Rogers wrapped up his solid five-year career with the Tigers this fall with a second straight selection as an AUS all-star, his first on the top squad. The team captain started every game this season and contributed four goals from his defender position, including a pair of game-winners.

In the classroom, the commerce student from Calgary has been a member of the Dean’s List and a CIS Academic All-Canadian each of his first four years at Dalhousie.

In the community, Rogers organizes an annual fundraising event in Calgary called CareFest, with the proceeds split between a memorial scholarship established at his high school and Kid Sport Alberta. He also volunteers his time during the summer with his hometown club, the Calgary Villains.

This year, he is balancing soccer and school work with being a teacher assistant for a fourth-year audit (accounting) class and doing administrative work for the assistant director of athletics. He has served on the varsity council for Dalhousie athletics for the past four years, the last two in an executive capacity as co-president.

Through the Dalhousie co-op program, Rogers landed himself a position with KPMG, an internationally recognized public accounting firm. He had his first co-op with the firm in January of 2011 during his second year of study and will start full time in January 2014 with the Calgary office upon completion of his degree. In between that time, he has officially represented KPMG as a campus ambassador at Dalhousie.

“Nathan is a great example of a true student athlete. He is a deserving recipient of this prestigious award which represents both his and his university’s commitment to excellence,” said Dalhousie head coach Pat Nearing. “Nathan is always the person trying to make a difference in his community be it in Halifax or Calgary. He will be heading off to start his work career at the end of the year and I know he will continue to be a difference-maker in Canadian society.”

The other nominees were Laval’s Goran Rimac, Carleton’s Andrew Latty and UBC’s Paul Clerc.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Mosher, UBC

Mosher joins two former UBC bench bosses named CIS coach of the year in men’s soccer, his father Dick in 1989, as well as Joe Johnson in 1985. He was also the Canada West nominee in 2009.

This season, Mosher led his defending national champion Thunderbirds to yet another first-place finish in the Canada West Pacific Division thanks to a stellar 12-1 conference mark. The T-Birds’ 3.62 goals scored per game were tops in the country, while their goals against average of 0.62 was the best in Canada West and ranked second in CIS. Not surprisingly, UBC topped five of nine national coaches’ polls this fall, including the last four, before claiming their fifth conference title under Mosher.

A former standout player with the T-Birds, the physical education graduate became an assistant coach under his father in 1994 and took over the program the following year. He has claimed a total of seven CIS banners with the team, including three as a player, one as an assistant and three more as head coach.

Mosher, who also played four years with the Canadian Olympic team and spent four seasons in the Canadian Soccer League, has also coached on the international stage with Team Canada at two Summer Universiades, first as an assistant in 2007 in Thailand and then as bench boss in 2009 in Serbia.

“It is always nice to be recognized for your efforts and your team’s success,” said Theresa Hanson, UBC Associate Director, Athletics. “On behalf of UBC Athletics congratulations to Mike for this prestigious honour, it is well deserved.”

UNB’s Miles Pinsent, Laval’s Samir Ghrib and York’s Carmine Isacco were the other finalists.

ALL-CANADIAN TEAMS

The all-Canadian teams were also announced on Wednesday with OUA champion York leading the way with four selections.

Joining Braletic and Lao on the first squad were Victoria goalkeeper Elliot Mitrou, defenders Jawad Guizaoui of UQAM, Paul Clerc of UBC and Maxime Laurey of Montreal, midfielders Reynold Stewart of UBC, Diego Padilha of UNB, Joey Kewin of Carleton and Sandro Rajkovic of Cape Breton, as well as striker Ian Greedy of Cape Breton.

The second unit is comprised of York keeper Sotiri Varlokostas, defenders Casey D’Mello of York, Andrew Ravenhill of Victoria, Pawel Gorski of Saint Mary’s and Nafi Dicko-Raynauld of Laval, midfielders Alexandre Haddad of Montreal, Randy Ribeiro of StFX and Brett Levis of Saskatchewan, as well as forwards Bezick Evraire of Dalhousie, Patrice Dion of Laval and Mark-Anthony Kaye of York.

Joining Braletic as repeat all-Canadians were Mitrou (2011), Laurey (2011), Kewin (2011), Greedy (2011), Dicko-Raynauld (2012), Haddad (2011) and Levis (2012).

CIS MEN’S SOCCER: 2013 AWARDS & ALL-CANADIANS

Joe Johnson Memorial Trophy (player of the year): Alex Braletic, Ryerson

Lou Bilek Award (rookie of the year): Jonathan Lao, York

Student-Athlete Community Service Award: Nathan Rogers, Dalhousie

Coach of the year: Mike Mosher, UBC

First Team

Pos.     Athlete              University     Year     Hometown                Faculty

G       Elliot Mitrou         Victoria         5         Victoria, B.C.            Social Sciences

D       Jawad Guizaoui   UQAM           5         Casablanca, Morocco Administration

D       Paul Clerc          UBC             4          Coquitlam, B.C.        Kinesiology

D       Maxime Laurey   Montreal       4          St-Germain-en-Laye, France Administration

M       Reynold Stewart UBC             5          Delta, B.C.               Arts

M       Diego Padilha     UNB             1          Maceio, Brazil           Electrical Engineering

M       Jonathan Lao     York             1          Unionville, Ont.         Liberal Arts

M      Joey Kewin         Carleton       5          London, Ont.            Commerce

M      Sandro Rajkovic Cape Breton  3          Hamilton, Ont.          Business Administration

S      Alex Braletic       Ryerson        5          Thornhill, Ont.          Engineering

S      Ian Greedy        Cape Breton   4          Lower Sackville, N.S. Business Administration

Second Team

G      Sotiri Varlokostas   York          5         Toronto, Ont.            Political Science

D      Casey D’Mello        York          4         Mississauga, Ont.      Kinesiology & HS

D      Andrew Ravenhill   Victoria      5         Victoria, B.C.            Humanities

D      Pawel Gorski        Saint Mary’s 3        Halifax, N.S.             Arts

D      Nafi Dicko-Raynauld Laval       4         Montreal, Que.          Mechanical Engineering

M      Alexandre Haddad Montreal     3         Montreal, Que.          Administration

M      Randy Ribeiro      StFX             3         Cambridge, Ont.      Human Kinetics

M      Brett Levis          Saskatchewan 3        Saskatoon, Sask.     Arts & Science

S      Bezick Evraire      Dalhousie     3         Ottawa, Ont.              Arts

S      Patrice Dion          Laval           3         Quebec City, Que.    Business Administration

S      Mark-Anthony Kaye   York        2         Toronto, Ont.           Liberal Arts

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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