CIS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: SPARTANS IN SEARCH OF THIRD CIS TITLE IN FOUR YEARS

Daniela Gerig, left, and Melissa Mobilio

WOMEN’S SOCCER (CIS)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2011
CIS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CIS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW: SPARTANS IN SEARCH OF THIRD CIS TITLE IN FOUR YEARS

LANGLEY, British Columbia –
With a 2-1 (4-3 PK) win over Alberta in the Canada West championship match, the Trinity Western women’s soccer team captured its fourth league title in eight years and will now go on to compete at the CIS national championship for the fifth time in school history.

The Spartans travelled to Montreal Tuesday in preparation for competing in the 25th anniversary edition of the CIS tournament, which gets under way Thursday at Percival Molson Stadium in downtown Montreal and culminates at 4 p.m. on Sunday with the national final. All 11 games from the eight-team, single-elimination tourney will be webcast live by SSN Canada.  

The Spartans, who having gone the national championship in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 and now 2011, will be looking for their third national crown in four years, having won in 2008 at Trinity Western and 2009 in Toronto, and fourth overall, having won its first title in 2004 at McGill.

After posting a program best and table-topping 12-1-1 regular season record and thus earning the right to host the Canada West Final Four, the Spartans knocked off Victoria with a convincing 3-0 win in the Canada West semifinal before eking out a victory over Alberta in the championship game the following evening.

With a pair of playoff wins, the Spartans will now enter the CIS national championship riding a 15-game undefeated streak as they haven’t lost since a season-opening 1-0 setback at the hands of UBC.

The Spartans, who had five players named Canada West First Team All-Stars – goalkeeper Kristen Funk, defenders Jennifer Castillo and Colleen Webber and midfielders Melissa Mobilio and Natalie Boyd – two players named Canada West Second Team All-Stars – defender Jilian Dietrich and forward Daniela Gerig – and had coach Graham Roxburgh, who will be attempting to become the first women’s soccer coach to ever win four national titles, named Canada West coach of the year, have quite been simply dominant all season long.

In 14 regular season games and two playoff games, Trinity Western has outscored its opponents 36-8 and, in doing so, have yet to allow more than one goal in any game all season.

In the regular season, the Spartans were amongst the best in Canada West in nearly every statistical category. They led the conference in goals for, with 31, were second in both goals against, with seven, and shots on goal, with 16.4 per game, were third in shutouts, with seven, and Funk, who played every minute of every game this season, faced a league-low 47 shots on target.

Individually, Gerig and Mobilio led the Spartans offensive machine as Gerig had six goals and five assists in the regular season and Mobilio had five goals and six assists. Add their playoff numbers to that and in 16 conference games this year, Gerig had eight goals and six assists and Mobilio had five goals and eight assists.

While Mobilio and Gerig, both of whom are playing in their final year with the Spartans, were often the match-strikers who sparked the Trinity Western fire, this year’s team was by no means a two-trick pony.

In the regular season, Trinity Western had 10 different goals scorers, and eight players who scored multiple goals.

Behind Gerig and Mobilio, were Sarah-Kim Bergeron and Castillo with four goals, Boyd and Nikki Wright with three, Webber and Tessa Meyer with two and Caitlin Haines and Jessica King each with one. It’s also worth mentioning that while Jenna Di Nunzio didn’t score all year, her seven assists had her tied for the conference lead in helpers.  

While the Spartans offence was a particularly flashy piece of work all year, Trinity Western’s backline was truly the rudder that steadied the ship. The foursome of Dietrich, Castillo, Webber and Nikki Byrne made up the Spartans starting defenders in all but two games this year and were a tower of strength and consistency all year.

Last year the Spartans, who were in search of an unprecedented third national title in a row, missed out on the national championship tournament all together after losing to Fraser Valley in the Canada West semifinal. So this year, with a renewed hunger that has been evident since the first day of training camp, the Spartans have only one goal in mind: Getting the Gladys Bean Memorial Trophy back to Trinity Western.

Joining the Spartans at the championship tournament will be the defending champion Queen’s Gaels, the Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champions), Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions), Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (OUA finalists), Alberta Pandas (Canada West finalists), Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA bronze medallists) and the host McGill Martlets.

The Gaels, who claimed their first CIS banner back in 1988, finished first in the OUA East division this fall with a sparkling 13-1-2 conference record before going 3-0 in the playoffs, including a thrilling 1-0 win on penalty kicks over archrival Laurier in the OUA final.

The Ontario championship game was a rematch of last year’s national final and the result was almost a carbon copy as Queen’s edged Laurier 1-0 in double overtime 12 months ago.

The Gaels and Hawks could very well meet again for CIS gold on Sunday as they are on opposite sides of the bracket for this week’s tourney.

Thursday’s quarter-final schedule includes Dalhousie against Ottawa at 10:30 a.m. Eastern, Queen’s vs. Alberta at 1:30 p.m., Montreal vs. Laurier at 4:30 p.m., and Trinity Western vs. McGill at 7:30 p.m.

“With all of the best teams in the country qualifying it will be a highly competitive and very tough road to the title,” says Queen’s head coach Dave McDowell, in his 24th campaign at the helm. “A lot of great games will be played but our team is prepared for the task.”

Dalhousie (3), Trinity Western (3), Alberta (3), Laurier (2) and Ottawa (1) have also hoisted the Bean trophy in the past, while Montreal and McGill are still looking for an elusive first triumph.

The Golden Hawks and OUA bronze medallist Ottawa also enjoyed exceptional seasons in Ontario, posting 12-2-0 and 12-3-1 conference marks, respectively. The Gee-Gees earned the last OUA ticket for the CIS tourney with a convincing 4-0 win over McMaster last weekend.

The Carabins and Martlets, the two representatives from Quebec, are not only looking for a first CIS banner, they also hope to make RSEQ history as no team from the conference has ever claimed the national title.

Montreal was the only team in the country to go undefeated in the regular season and the playoffs and enters the championship with a 14-0-2 overall record, including a 3-1 decision over Sherbrooke in the RSEQ final.

“We had a nice win in the conference final but I still think our team has yet to play to its full potential,” says Montreal sideline boss Kevin McConnell. “To win at the national championship we’ll have to play at our highest level.

“No matter who we play in the first round, we still have three big games ahead of us to claim the title,” added McConnell in reference to the first-round matchup against the Hawks, who beat the Carabins in overtime in last year’s CIS semis.

McGill bench boss Marc Mounicot, who heads a program that has settled for four silver medals in as many trips to the CIS final in its history, agrees that there will be no easy matches this week.

“The quality of the CIS championship this year is excellent and features three of the best teams from last year - Montreal, Laurier and Queen’s - in addition to Trinity Western who won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009,” says Mounicot. “We are for sure the underdogs but anything is possible in a single-elimination format. To upset those teams, you have to play three perfect games and have a bit of luck on your side.”

In the Atlantic conference, Dalhousie was somewhat of a surprise winner of the AUS banner. After taking third place in the regular season, the Tigers went on a three-game win streak at the conference championship, including upsets of Saint Mary’s and top-seeded UPEI.

“I’m very excited to bring such a young team to the national championship,” says head coach Jack Hutchison, whose squad returns to the dance after a two-year absence. “We have worked really well as a cohesive unit all year to get the job done and we will need to continue to do so to have further success. This will be a fantastic learning experience for all of our young players.”

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Trinity Western was anything but a surprise champion in Canada West. The Spartans, who have won a remarkable three national titles since joining CIS a dozen years ago, cruised through the season with a 12-1-1 record. They had to work overtime in the Canada West final however, as they needed penalty kicks to edge Alberta.

The Pandas, third in the league standings with a solid 9-4-1 mark, upset UBC (11-1-2) on PKs in the conference semis to earn a trip to Montreal.

“We are obviously delighted to be heading back to CIS Nationals,” says TWU head coach Graham Roxburgh, whose team has an exceptional 10-1-1 lifetime record at the championship and has won its last eight duels at the tourney. “It is nice to be in the mix of some quality programs with great players and some fierce competition. Competing in the tournament is a special opportunity for our players that you can never take for granted because we all know how hard it is for each team to make it there.”

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

GLADYS BEAN MEMORIAL TROPHY CHAMPIONS

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)             

2011 TEAM PROFILES

Dalhousie Tigers (AUS champions)

Head Coach: Jack Hutchison (5th season)
Regular season record: 9-3-1
Regular season standing: 3rd AUS
Playoff record: 3-0
Playoff finish: AUS champions
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): Unranked
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 10 (2 weeks)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 2
Conference award winners: None
Conference 1st team all-stars: Rieka Santilli (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Taryn McKenna (G), Kristy McGregor-Bales (D), Joanna Blodgett (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 12
CIS championship all-time record: 11-10-8 (.379)
CIS championship all-time medals: 6 (3 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 3-time champions (1994, 1999, 2000)
CIS championship last appearance: 2008 (tied 7th)
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance since 2008 (3rd in 5 years)

Montreal Carabins (RSEQ champions)

Head Coach: Kevin McConnell (7th season)
Regular season record: 12-0-2
Regular season standing: 1st RSEQ
Playoff record: 2-0
Playoff finish: RSEQ champions
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): No. 1
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 1 (last 3 polls)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 9
Conference award winners: Éva Thouvenot-Hébert (MVP)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Martine Julien (G), Valérie Labelle (D), Virginie Lévesque (D), Véronique Maranda (M), Éva Thouvenot-Hébert (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Claudiane Tremblay (D), Claire Robbins (M), Catherine Delmas-Frenette (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 6
CIS championship all-time record: 7-8-0 (.467)
CIS championship all-time medals: 2 (1 silver, 1 bronze)
CIS championship best result: Finalists (2009)
CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (4th)
CIS championship sequence: 5th straight appearance

Queen’s Gaels (OUA champions)

Head Coach: Dave McDowell (24th season)
Regular season record: 13-1-2
Regular season standing: 1st OUA East
Playoff record: 3-0
Playoff finish: OUA champions
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): No. 4
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 1 (1st poll)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 9
Conference award winners (OUA East): Riley Filion (MVP), Jessie DeBoer (rookie)
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Brienna Shaw (D), Riley Filion (M), Jacqueline Tessier (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Jessie DeBoer (D), Melissa Jung (D), Kelli Chamberlain (F)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 12
CIS championship all-time record: 11-12-4 (.481)
CIS championship all-time medals: 4 (2 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 2-time champions (1988, 2010)
CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (champions)
CIS championship sequence: 3rd straight appearance (9th in 12 years)

Trinity Western Spartans (Canada West champions)

Head Coach: Graham Roxburgh (13th season)
Regular season record: 12-1-1
Regular season standing: 1st Canada West
Playoff record: 2-0
Playoff finish: Canada West champions
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): No. 2
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 2 (last 3 polls)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 9
Conference award winners: Graham Roxburgh (coach)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Kristen Funk (G), Jennifer Castillo (D), Colleen Webber (D), Melissa Mobilio (M), Natalie Boyd (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Jilian Dietrich (D), Daniela Gerig (F)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 5
CIS championship all-time record: 10-1-1 (.875)
CIS championship all-time medals: 3 (3 gold)
CIS championship best result: 3-time champions (2004, 2008, 2009)
CIS championship last appearance: 2009 (champions)
CIS championship sequence: 3rd appearance in 4 years

Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks (OUA finalists)

Head Coach: Barry MacLean (16th season)
Regular season record: 12-2-0
Regular season standing: 1st OUA West
Playoff record: 2-1
Playoff finish: OUA finalists
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): No. 5
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 1 (5 weeks)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 9
Conference award winners (OUA West): Alyssa Lagonia (MVP), Emily Brown (rookie)
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA West): Alyssa Lagonia (M), Tania Pedron (M), Kelsey Tikka (D), Sadie Anderson (D), Krista Cellucci (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA West): Heather Malizia (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 10
CIS championship all-time record: 14-9-0 (.609)
CIS championship all-time medals: 5 (2 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 2-time champions (1992, 1995)
CIS championship last appearance: 2010 (finalists)
CIS championship sequence: 3rd appearance in 4 years

Alberta Pandas (Canada West finalists)

Head Coach: Liz Jepsen (7th season)
Regular season record: 9-4-1
Regular season standing: 3rd Canada West
Playoff record: 1-1
Playoff finish: Canada West finalists
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): No. 9
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 3 (2 weeks)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 9
Conference award winners: Carleigh Miller (student-athlete & community service)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Shalla Kadima (D), Heather Lund (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Elise Emmott (M)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 11
CIS championship all-time record: 18-6-4 (.714)
CIS championship all-time medals: 9 (3 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 3-time champions (1989, 1997, 2001)
CIS championship last appearance: 2005 (5th)
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance since 2005

Ottawa Gee-Gees (OUA bronze medallists)

Head Coach: Steve Johnson (18th season)
Regular season record: 12-3-1
Regular season standing: 2nd OUA East
Playoff record: 2-1
Playoff finish: OUA bronze medallists
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): No. 6
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 6 (final poll)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 7
Conference award winners (OUA East): None
Conference 1st team all-stars (OUA East): Gillian Baggot (D), Kate Landry (M)
Conference 2nd team all-stars (OUA East): Cynthia Leblanc (G), Chiari Quadri (D), Krista Daycroft (M), Elisabeth Wong (F)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 11
CIS championship all-time record: 13-11-4 (.536)
CIS championship all-time medals: 7 (1 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 1-time champions (1996)
CIS championship last appearance: 2008 (6th)
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance since 2008 (5th in 7 years)

McGill Martlets (championship hosts)

Head Coach: Marc Mounicot (14th season)
Regular season record: 8-3-3
Regular season standing: 2nd RSEQ
Playoff record: 0-1
Playoff finish: RSEQ semi-finalists
Final Top 10 ranking (Nov. 1): No. 10 (tied)
Best Top 10 ranking (9 weeks): No. 6 (1 week)
Number of weeks in Top 10 (9 weeks): 5
Conference award winners: Alexandria Hoyte (rookie)
Conference 1st team all-stars: Julia Bahen (D), Alexandria Hoyte (M), Alexandra Morin-Boucher (F)
Conference 2nd team all-stars: Victoria Muccilli (G), Kelsey Wilson (D)
CIS championship appearances (including 2011): 17
CIS championship all-time record: 15-23-5 (.407)
CIS championship all-time medals: 7 (5 silver, 2 bronze)
CIS championship best result: 5-time finalists (1989, 1991, 1992, 2001, 2004)
CIS championship last appearance: 2006 (6th)
CIS championship sequence: 1st appearance since 2006

CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Wednesday, Nov. 9
18:00 All-Canadian Awards Banquet

Thursday, Nov. 10
10:30 Quarter-final 1: Dalhousie vs. Ottawa (SSN Canada webcast)
13:30 Quarter-final 2: Queen’s vs. Alberta (SSN Canada webcast)
16:30 Quarter-final 3: Montreal vs. Laurier (SSN Canada webcast)
19:30 Quarter-final 4: Trinity Western vs. McGill (SSN Canada webcast)

Friday, Nov. 11
16:30 Consolation 1: Loser QF 1 vs. Loser QF 2 (SSN Canada webcast)
19:30 Consolation 2: Loser QF 3 vs. Loser QF 4 (SSN Canada webcast)

Saturday, Nov. 12
13:30 Semifinal 1: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2 (SSN Canada webcast)
16:30 Semifinal 2: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4 (SSN Canada webcast)
19:30 5th-place game (SSN Canada webcast)

Sunday, Nov. 13
13:30 Bronze medal (SSN Canada webcast)
16:00 Championship final (SSN Canada webcast)

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches 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.

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Last Updated: 2011-11-08
Author: Mark Janzen