Oct. 28, 2014 – The Algonquin Thunder took over the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s No. 1 ranking in late-September and they’ve held onto it ever since.
The Thunder, led by All-Canadian midfielder Stephane Emard, enter the 2014 CCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship as the No. 1 seed. The OCAA champions will face the wildcard Keyano Huskies (No.
“What can you say about the regular season the CCAA’s No. 1 ranked Algonquin Thunder had, running the table finishing a perfect 7-0,” said David Kent, the CCAA’s men’s soccer convenor. “They then earned the OCAA title with victories over Sheridan and Humber, the defending CCAA national champions, in the conference final.”
In ousting the two-time defending champion Humber Hawks, Algonquin is a confident group heading into the National Championship, having outscored its opponents 24-4 so far this season. Now, they hope to become the third consecutive team from the OCAA to be crowned CCAA champs.
One of the hottest teams heading into the Championship might be the PACWEST’s Douglas Royals. The No. 2 seed will face the host Sheridan Bruins (7) in their quarter-final matchup.
Douglas defeated Vancouver Island University for the PACWEST title.
“The Royals have been the class of the PACWEST the past three weeks, culminating with their thrilling penalty kick victory over the VIU Mariners,” said Kent. “They will represent the PACWEST very admirably with a well balanced offensive attack and strong defense.”
Sheridan certainly gave Algonquin all it could handle during the OCAA semi-finals. The Bruins led 2-0 at one point before dropping the contest by a final score of 4-2.
“The Bruins will be a very strong host school, they were nationally ranked all season and gave the Thunder a scare in the OCAA semi-finals,” said Kent.
Meanwhile, VIU qualified as a wildcard from the PACWEST. They’re the No. 5 seed and will face the ACAA champs, the No. 4 Holland Hurricanes.
This quarter-final matchup has the potential be a high-scoring affair. It will feature two of the CCAA’s top scorers, All-Canadians Ibrah Sanoh (26 regular season goals) of Holland and Victor Blasco (12 regular season goals) of VIU.
While Atlantic teams haven’t fared well in recent National Championships, Holland did roll through its competition this year with an 11-0-1 record.
“The Hurricanes won the ACAA with a convincing post-season, culminating with the defeat of the second place Saint John UNB Seawolves, 5-0, in the conference title match,” said Kent. “Holland has an explosive offensive led by Sanoh and they were a plus-61 in goal difference during the regular and post season.”
The other quarter-final contest will feature conference champions: the No. 3 NAIT Ooks (ACAC) vs. the No. 6 Élans de Garneau (RSEQ).
The Ooks are led by first-year captain, and All-Canadian, Bruno Zebie. NAIT shutout Keyano 3-0 in the ACAC championship game.
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The Elans, led by All-Canadian Shadrack Mmunga, have recent National Championship experience having won a bronze medal at the 2012 event.
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The tournament concludes on Saturday, Nov. 8 with the gold medal match at 1 p.m. All games can be viewed at www.ccaa.ca/mens-soccer-championship.
Day 1 Schedule
Match 1: 10 a.m.
Algonquin (1) vs. Keyano (8)
Match 2: 12:30 p.m.
Holland (4) vs. VIU (5)
Match 3: 3 p.m.
NAIT (3) vs. Garneau (6)
Match 4: 5:30 p.m.
Douglas (2) vs. Sheridan (7)
The CCAA is a national sport organization enriching the academic experiences of student-athletes through intercollegiate sport.