CIS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: SPARTANS GO FOR HISTORIC THREE-PEAT

46
Nov 04, 2014

LANGLEY, British Columbia – All eyes will be on the reigning two-time champion Trinity Western Spartans this week in Quebec City as the perennial powerhouse from Langley, B.C., will attempt to become the first program in history to capture three consecutive CIS titles in women’s soccer, and could also become the first team the win six Gladys Bean Memorial Trophies overall.

The eight-team tournament, hosted for the second time by Laval University, runs from Thursday to Sunday at TELUS-UL Stadium with the national final scheduled for 2 p.m. All 11 games from the competition will be webcast live on www.CIS-SIC.tv.

The Spartans, crowned Canada West champions this season, are joined at the competition by the host Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ champs), as well as the Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA champs), Memorial Sea-Hawks (AUS champs), Fraser Valley Cascades (Canada West finalists), Montreal Carabins (RSEQ finalists), Western Mustangs (OUA finalists) and University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks (OUA bronze medallists).

Besides the Spartans, who came out on top in 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013, the only team in the field with a CIS title under its belt is the Gee-Gees, who won the Gladys Bean in 1996.

Montreal is a three-time CIS silver medallist, including losses to TWU in the final in 2009 (PK) and last year (1-0); Laval and Fraser Valley have claimed one bronze apiece; Western’s best result is a fourth-place finish; Memorial and UOIT will both make their CIS championship debut this week.

The three most decorated programs in the field, the Spartans, Gee-Gees and Carabins, find themselves in the top half of the draw, along with newcomer UOIT.

Montreal and Ottawa face off in Thursday’s tournament opener at 11 a.m., followed by Trinity Western vs. UOIT at 1:30 p.m.

To say the Spartans are once again stacked with talent in 2014 would be a major understatement. Following a 10-1-1 regular season, they placed no less than five players on the Canada West first all-star team, including striker Jessica King, who was named the conference MVP, as well as fellow forwards Krista Gommeringer and Seina Kashima, midfielder Vanessa Kovacs and defender Jennifer Castillo.

Gommeringer and Kovacs both earned all-Canadian nods a year ago. The former scored the lone goal in the national final against Montreal, while the latter was voted championship MVP.

The first time the Spartans won back-to-back Gladys Bean Trophies, in 2008 and 2009, they didn’t get a shot at a three-peat as they failed to qualify for the 2010 CIS tourney.

“Obviously, it’s special to be able to be this far into defending the last two championships, but this is a new team and while it would be great to keep the streak going, we are focused on finishing this season with this group as best and as high as possible,” says head coach Graham Roxburgh, whose troops suffered their only loss of the campaign in their final league game on Oct. 19, a 1-0 setback at UBC, and went on to beat Fraser Valley 2-1 in the Canada West final last Saturday. “We will take it one game at a time, like we have all season. We recognize the field of teams this year will make it extremely difficult. There are some very good teams across Canada but, of course, we hope that we can be there at the end.”

Trinity Western’s opponents in Thursday’s opening round, the UOIT Ridgebacks, kicked off their OUA schedule back on Aug. 30 with a shocking 3-2 win over powerhouse Ottawa and never slowed down, finishing second behind the Gee-Gees in the OUA East with a stellar 12-2-2 league record.

The Ridgebacks booked their ticket for Quebec City with a 2-0 defeat of Laurier in the OUA bronze-medal game.

“We’re certainly a young team. Our only goal and expectation is to compete well and work hard throughout the championship,” says bench boss Peyvand Mossavat, who earlier this year was named head coach of the Canadian women’s soccer entry for the 2015 Summer Universiade in South Korea. “Driving back from the OUA Final Four, we talked about the fact that we’d be playing Trinity Western. We know it’s going to be a difficult game. We’re certainly the underdog, but we understand and appreciate that because it’s our first time at nationals.”

Ottawa and Montreal, who are set to clash in the tournament opener, enjoyed different fates in their respective conference finals this past weekend.

The Gee-Gees came out on top of a pair of 1-0 thrillers at the OUA Final Four, in extra time against Laurier in the semis – despite playing 10-on-11 in the latter part of the contest – and in regulation versus Western in the final. Both game-winners came from striker Pilar Khoury, the OUA East MVP.

For their part, the Carabins qualified for the CIS tournament with a 3-2 win over Sherbrooke in the RSEQ semis, but were dropped 4-0 by Laval in the conference championship game at TELUS-UL Stadium, the site of this week’s competition.

“I think we’re ready,” says Ottawa coach Steve Johnson, whose team was ranked first in the last national poll of the season on Oct. 28. “We have faced a lot of different styles and different situations. Even being down a player for almost forty minutes in the OUA semifinal, the team was organized and collectively they still had belief. Coming in as the top seed from Ontario, we feel pretty good about our chances.”

“Obviously, we have some experience at this tournament. We start with quite a challenge against Ottawa. Our teams know each other well,” says Montreal coach Kevin McConnell, whose squad opened the season at No. 1 back in early September. “Playing in Quebec City could help us. We know the city well and we could have a lot of supporters.”

In the bottom half of the draw, Fraser Valley takes on Memorial at 4 p.m. on Thursday, while Western faces host Laval at 6:30 p.m.

The Cascades made the most out of their only previous CIS championship appearance back in 2010, claiming a bronze medal in Charlottetown. They have been steady all season long in the ultra-competitive Pacific division of Canada West and advanced to the national tourney thanks to a 1-0 shutout of Alberta in the conference semis.

Their first-round opponent, Memorial, has been red hot since opening its AUS schedule with back-to-back losses to UNB. The Sea-Hawks are 11-1-1 since then and avenged those defeats last Sunday in the conference final, beating the Varsity Reds a 3-1 to capture their first-ever AUS banner.

“We’re going to be tested. We have the Atlantic champion in our first game and that’ll be a stern test,” says UFV head coach Rob Giesbrecht, who was in his first season at the helm in 2010. “We’ll get out there and get acclimatized and get ready, and have a go at them. When we play on our front foot, when we play with confidence and assertiveness, we know we can beat anybody in CIS.”

The nightcap between Laval and Western pits two teams who were ranked third and fifth, respectively, in the final top 10 of the campaign.

The Rouge et Or set numerous team records this season en route to a 13-1 mark in league play. They enter the championship on a 14-game winning streak overall since a 3-1 loss to Montreal back on Sept. 7.

The Mustangs went 13-2-1 to finish first in the OUA West and kept the best goal differential in the country in the regular season, with a CIS-high 68 goals scored and only six goals against.

“We’ve known from day one we’d be in the tournament but we got in through the front door. I said before the season we had the most talented team in the 20-year history of our program and with 14 straight wins capped by the RSEQ championship, the girls proved me right,” says Laval coach Helder Duarte, who guided his Rouge et Or to CIS bronze back in 2002 in Edmonton. “A year ago in Toronto, we settled for sixth place with a number of players from this roster. This year, they’ll have a better understanding of what they can expect.”

“At nationals, we see a different level of intensity and quality. To be successful, we really need to embrace the opportunity and perform at our absolute peak,” says Western’s Martin Painter. “Laval’s record speaks for itself and they have some real quality throughout their team. It should be a great atmosphere and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

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

GLADYS BEAN MEMORIAL TROPHY CHAMPIONS:

2013 Trinity Western (at Toronto)
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 champions)

Head Coach: Graham Roxburgh (16th season)
Regular season record: 10-1-1
Regular season standing: 1st Canada West Pacific
Playoff record: 3-0
Playoff finish: Canada West champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 2
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (4 weeks)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
Conference award winners: Jessica King (MVP), Seina Kashima (rookie), Graham Roxburgh (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Jennifer Castillo (D), Vanessa Kovacs (M), Krista Gommeringer (S), Jessica King (S), Seina Kashima (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Kristen Santema (D)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 8
CIS championship all-time record: 17-3-1 (.833)
CIS championship all-time medals: 5 (5-0-0)
CIS championship best result: 5-time champions (2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2004)
CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (champions)
CIS championship sequence: 4th straight appearance (6th in 7 years)

Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA champions)

Head Coach: Steve Johnson (21st season)
Regular season record: 15-1-0
Regular season standing: 1st OUA East
Playoff record: 3-0
Playoff finish: OUA champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 29): No. 1
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (2 weeks)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
Conference award winners (OUA East): Pilar Khoury (MVP)
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Cynthia Leblanc (G), Chiara Quadri (D), Morgan McNeil (M), Pilar Khoury (S), Julia Francki (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Katherine Bearne (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 13
CIS championship all-time record: 16-14-4 (.529)
CIS championship all-time medals: 8 (1 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 1-time champions (1996)
CIS championship last appearance: 2012 (4th place)
CIS championship sequence: Return after 1-year absence (7th appearance in 10 years)

Laval Rouge et Or (RSEQ champions)

Head Coach: Helder Duarte (20th season)
Regular season record: 13-1-0
Regular season standing: 1st RSEQ
Playoff record: 2-0
Playoff finish: RSEQ champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 3
Top 10 best ranking: No. 3 (5 weeks)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 7
Conference award winners: Mélissa Roy (rookie), Mélissande Guy (student-athlete & community service), Helder Duarte (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Marie-Joëlle Vandal (G), Mélissa Roy (D), Marie-Sandra Ujeneza (D), Arielle Roy-Petitclerc (M) Gabrielle Lapointe (M), Joëlle Gosselin (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Mélissande Guy (S)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 8
CIS championship all-time record: 8-9-3 (.475)
CIS championship all-time medals: 1 (0-0-1)
CIS championship best result: Bronze (2002)
CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (6th place)
CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance

Memorial Sea-Hawks (AUS champions)

Head Coach: Walt Mavin (15th season)
Regular season record: 9-3-1
Regular season standing: 2nd AUS
Playoff record: 2-0
Playoff finish: AUS champions
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): Unranked
Top 10 best ranking: Unranked all season
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 0
Conference award winners: Emily Bailey (rookie)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Emily Bailey (S), Jessie Noseworthy (S)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Jane Pope (S)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 1
CIS championship all-time record: 0-0
CIS championship all-time medals: 0
CIS championship best result: 1st appearance
CIS championship last appearance: 1st appearance
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance

Fraser Valley Cascades (Canada West silver medallists)

Head Coach: Rob Giesbrecht (5th season)
Regular season record: 7-2-3
Regular season standing: 3rd Canada West Pacific
Playoff record: 2-1
Playoff finish: Canada West silver medallists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 10
Top 10 best ranking: No. 10 (2 weeks)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 2
Conference award winners: Kayla Klim (student-athlete & community service)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Kara Delwo (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Monika Levarsky (S)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 2
CIS championship all-time record: 2-1 (.667)
CIS championship all-time medals: 1 (0-0-1)
CIS championship best result: Bronze (2010)
CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (bronze)
CIS championship sequence: Return after 3-year absence

Western Mustangs (OUA silver medallists)

Head Coach: Martin Painter (3rd season)
Regular season record: 13-2-1
Regular season standing: 1st OUA West
Playoff record: 2-1
Playoff finish: OUA silver medallists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 5
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (1 week)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
Conference award winners (OUA West): None
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Tori Edgar (G), Jessi Couto (D)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Jenna White (D), Lauren Vandenbygaart (D), Jessica Friend (M), Amanda Boyle (S)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 8
CIS championship all-time record: 1-10-4 (.200)
CIS championship all-time medals: 0
CIS championship best result: 4th place (2002)
CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (tied 7th place)
CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance

Montreal Carabins (RSEQ silver medallists)

Head Coach: Kevin McConnell (10th season)
Regular season record: 9-1-4
Regular season standing: 2nd RSEQ
Playoff record: 1-1
Playoff finish: RSEQ silver medallists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 9
Top 10 best ranking: No. 1 (2 weeks)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 9
Conference award winners: None
Conference 1st team all-stars: Mélissa Gougeon (D), Constance De Chantal-Dumont (M), Laura Chénard (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Mona Ouirzane (D), Kim Brûlé (S)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 8
CIS championship all-time record: 11-10 (.524)
CIS championship all-time medals: 4 (0-3-1)
CIS championship best result: 3-time silver medallists (2013, 2011, 2009)
CIS championship last appearance: 2013 (silver)
CIS championship sequence: 2nd straight appearance (7th in 8 years)

UOIT Ridgebacks (OUA bronze medallists)

Head Coach: Peyvand Mossavat (3rd season)
Regular season record: 12-2-2
Regular season standing: 2nd OUA East
Playoff record: 2-1
Playoff finish: OUA bronze medallists
Top 10 final ranking (Oct. 28): No. 6
Top 10 best ranking: No. 4 (1 week)
Top 10 number of weeks ranked (9 polls): 7
Conference award winners (OUA East): Katherine Koehler-Grassau (rookie), Jessica Mithrush (student-athlete & community service), Peyvand Mossavat (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Kylie Bordeleau (D), Katherine Koehler-Grassau (D)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Sara Voisin (D), Kayla De Souza (M), Cassandra Sribny (S)
CIS championship appearances (including 2014): 1
CIS championship all-time record: 0-0
CIS championship all-time medals: 0
CIS championship best result: 1st appearance
CIS championship last appearance: 1st appearance
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Nov. 5
18:30 All-Canadian Awards Banquet (Museum of Civilization)

Thursday, Nov. 6
11:00 Quarter-final 1: Montreal vs. Ottawa (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
13:30 Quarter-final 2: UOIT vs. Trinity Western (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
16:00 Quarter-final 3: Fraser Valley vs. Memorial (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:30 Quarter-final 4: Western vs. Laval (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Friday, Nov. 7
11:00 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
13:30 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
16:00 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:30 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Saturday, Nov. 8
11:00 5th-place game (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

Sunday, Nov. 9
11:30 Bronze medal (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
14:00 Championship final (www.CIS-SIC.tv)

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 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.

-TW-

Your sports. Your teams. The ISN Daily Digest.

Sign up to the ISN Daily Digest and sit back while we pick the previous day’s best headlines and speed them straight to your inbox every morning.
Email address
First Name*
We abide by all applicable emailing laws including 100% CAN-SPAM/CASL/US CAN-SPAM Act compliance. No spam!