NCAA & CIS Archive

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After two years with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Canadian defender Oliver Spring commits to Duke

“Israel was incredible for me. I had two fantastic years playing there. But I felt that it was time for a new challenge.”

Later this month, Oliver Spring will arrive in Durham, N.C. and will unpack his things. He’ll have a lot of dark blue Duke sweatshirts. In January, the Toronto native will begin classes at Duke, and begin training with the soccer team.

After two years with Maccabi Tel Aviv’s youth division, the centre back has committed to Duke, and will play with the team in the 2015 season.

Spring will turn 20 years of age in 2015.

Spring said that there were more than a few U.S. schools that were interested in him, but when he made his preliminary list, Duke was near the top — because of its mix of academic and athletic notoriety*.

And, when he first visited the campus, he knew that Duke was where he wanted to go. Coaches John Kerr and Michael Brady made him feel welcome.

“The feeling on the campus was incredible,” said Spring.

“Israel was incredible for me. I had two fantastic years playing there. But I felt that it was time for a new challenge.”
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Miller pleased as FCE’s offence clicks in preseason friendlies

Frank Jonke

Frank Jonke

Let’s face it. As FC Edmonton prepares for the NASL campaign, absolutely no one is asking questions about the club’s goalkeeping or defensive capabilities. FCE was the top defensive team in the league last season, and everyone who follows NASL expects the Eddies to have one of the best goals-against marks in the league in 2014, too.

What every FCE supporter cares about is the goals for, a department where the Eddies ranked dead-last in the league in 2013.

So, through two preseason friendlies in Vancouver, the reviews have been, well, hopeful. The Eddies opened with a 3-0 win over Trinity Western, with forwards Frank Jonke, Horace James and Daryl Fordyce getting the goals. Even better is the fact that Jonke and James represent the new blood coach Colin Miller had brought into the attack.

On Saturday night, with the NCAA’s Simon Fraser Clan providing the opposition, the Eddies got three more goals, a header off a corner from centre back Kareem Moses, a goal from Jonke that banked off a defender and an easy finish from trialist Tomi Ameobi.

Yes, it’s CIS/NCAA opposition, but six goals in two matches has Miller feeling mighty optimistic.
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UBC, TWU repeats prove Canada West is best in CIS

Milad Mehrabi

Milad Mehrabi

The University of the Fraser Valley can claim moral victory. It is the only school in the last two seasons to knock off the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

The T-Birds won their second consecutive title on Sunday, with a 3-1 win over Laval on a chilly, snowy late autumn day in Fredericton. Last year, the T-Birds had an undefeated season en route to a national title; this season, there was one early season upset loss to UFV, and then the T-Birds didn’t look back.

Amaury Fauvergne gave the underdog Rouge et Or the 1-0 lead, and it stood up till halftime. But UBC got a 51th minute equalizer from Niall Cousens, then took the lead in the 62nd minute when Milad Mehrabi struck. In the 64th, Navid Mashinchi finished UBC’s shock-and-awe portion of the game with the T-Birds’ third goal.
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Braletic, Jacques named CIS players of the year

Alex Braletic, left, wins CIS player of the year honours.

Alex Braletic, left, wins CIS player of the year honours.

Alex Braletic made Ryerson University history on Wednesday night.

When it comes to athletics, the school is more often than not a sad-sack story, with teams that regularly finish near the bottom of the standings. (As a Ryerson grad, I can write this without a hint or irony)

But, Braletic became the first Ryerson athlete to ever be named the CIS player of the year in any sport. On Wednesday, he was named the top university soccer player in the country.

Braletic led Ryerson to an undefeated league mark, as the Rams went 12-0-2 in OUA play. Braletic played in 12 of those 14 matches, and scored 13 times. That led the province in scoring.

But Braletic’s Rams lost the OUA final to their crosstown rivals from York, a team which featured former TFC Academy prospect Jonathan Lao, who was named the CIS rookie of the year.

And, on Thursday, in the first round of the national championships, Braletic and Ryerson suffered a 3-2 loss to Laval. Braletic did get one of the goals for Ryerson, but Laval got a goal and an assist from Patrice Dion and a marker from former FC Edmonton fullback Fabrice Lassonde.
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CIS WRAP: Conference soccer champions crowned

The University of Montreal Carabins celebrate the Quebec women's title. PHOTO: JAMES HAJJAR

The University of Montreal Carabins celebrate the Quebec women’s title. PHOTO: JAMES HAJJAR

This was the weekend when the four CIS athletic conferences crowned their soccer champs. We saw some upsets; will some of the darkhorses that emerged continue to surprise at the upcoming national men’s and women’s championships?

We have summaries of all the finals.

CANADA WEST MEN: UBC 6, Saskatchewan 1
Wow, did the University of British Columbia make an emphatic statement in the Canada West final.

Last season, the T-Birds needed extra time to beat Alberta in snowy Edmonton. It was Gagan Dosanjh who got the deciding goal. And, in this year’s Canada West final, it was the man who replaced Dosanjh who had a game to remember. Niall Cousens, who took the attacking role after Dosanjh turned pro with FC Edmonton, scored four times as the Thunderbirds smashed Saskatchewan 6-1.
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CIS WRAP: Ryerson wins battle of Toronto

Nick Lambis

Nick Lambis

Ryerson won the battle of Toronto, and is off to the Ontario semifinals.

The Rams, ranked No. 2 in the country, got the 120th-minute extra time winner from Nick Lambis, off a corner from Martin Dabrowski, to claim a 3-2 OUA quarter-final win over the University of Toronto.

It was Lambis’s first-ever OUA goal, and it capped off a Sunday filled with Hail Marys for the Rams.

Not only did Lambis get the last-gasp winner, but the Rams needed a 90th minute goal from Alex Braletic to send the game to extra time. It looked as if the Varsity Blues were going to pull off the upset, but Braletic saved the Rams’ OUA campaign.

Ryerson will be joined in the Ontario final four by York, Windsor and Carleton. The Rams will host the tournament this coming weekend at Birchmount Stadum in Scarborough.
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CIS WRAP: No. 1 Gee-Gees rebound with season-ending sweep of Toronto teams

Pilar Khoury

Pilar Khoury

Pilar Khoury broke her own school record, scoring her 13th and 14th goals of the season, as the Ottawa Gee-Gees, ranked No. 1 on the CIS women’s chart, finished the OUA regular season with a 3-0 triumph over Ryerson.

After going winless in two games last week, including a 4-1 loss to the crosstown rivals at Carleton, the Gee-Gees righted the ship heading into the OUA playoffs. The Gee-Gees finished the campaign with 55 goals for and a +45 goal difference.

Khoury’s total of 14 goals was good enough for second on the OUA overall scoring chart. Laurier’s Emily Brown finished the regular season with 18, including two in a 3-1 win over McMaster this past weekend.

But Khoury is but one of many weapons in the Ottawa arsenal. When a team scores 55 times in 16 games, there’s a lot of ways it can beat you.
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CIS WRAP: UBC, Ryerson look to remain at top of the men’s rankings

Milad Mehrabi

Milad Mehrabi

The defending CIS champs from the University of British Columbia will likely hold onto the No. 1 overall ranking for the next two weeks.

The Thunderbirds extended their winning streak to 10 games in Canada West play with a 2-0 win Friday over the University of Winnipeg and a 3-0 win Saturday over Mount Royal.

Since a shock loss to the University of the Fraser Valley in the second game of the season, the T-Birds have soared, going 10-0-0 and outscoring opponents by a 35-6 count. The Thunderbirds now look like overwhelming favourites to repeat as national champs — and history may show that the loss to UFV was exactly what UBC needed. After an undefeated campaign in 2012, it was a reminder to the team that it will sometimes need to deal with adversity.

Navid Mashinchi got goals in each of the weekend wins for the Thunderbirds. Milad Mehrabi set up Mashinchi’s goal in the Winnipeg win and then scored one himself. And keeper Richard Meister got back-to-back clean sheets over the weekend.
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CIS WRAP: UBC poised to regain No. 1 spot as York slips

Milad Mehrabi

Milad Mehrabi

Last week, the York University Lions were at No. 1 on the CIS men’s soccer charts, while the defending national champs from the University of British Columbia were at No. 2.

We can expect that UBC will take York’s spot when the new rankings come out Tuesday.

UBC, which has lost just once this season, swept its two-game weekend series with UNBC in Prince George, winning 4-1 and 3-0. Milad Mehrabi scored three times over the course of the two wins, while Reynold Stewart scored twice in the opener against UNBC.

Since they suffered a shock loss to the University of the Fraser Valley on Sept. 8, the T-Birds have gone 8-0-0 and outscored their opponents 30-6. That’s right, 30-6.

Meanwhile, York played just one game over the weekend. And, for the second time this season the Lions lost to their bogey team, the McMaster Marauders. York outshot the boys from Hamilton by an 8-2 margin, but an own goal from Arthur Casupanan was all that the Marauders (7-2-2) needed to trip up York.
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CIS wrap: Former TFC midfielder Matt Stinson scores in his York U. debut

Matt Stinson

Matt Stinson

Former Toronto FC midfielder Matt Stinson scored the game-winning goal that gave his new Toronto-based team that wears red, the York Lions, a 2-1 win over Western on Saturday.

The win, coupled with York’s 4-1 win over Brock on Sunday, will likely keep the Lions at the No. 1 spot on the CIS charts.

Stinson, who is officially in his third year of CIS eligibility even though he made his Canadian university soccer debut this weekend, scored the 62nd-minute winner against Western. The other York goal came from former TFC Academy prospect Jonathan Lao, so York’s win definitely had a Reds’ alumni feel to it.

For Lao, it was his eighth goal on the season.

Stinson didn’t make his debut till game nine of the OUA season. Just last week, the MLS Players’ Union released the updated salary figures for September, and Stinson’s name had dropped off the list. Stinson had been shown as still having his contract paid out by the league through the summer, after Toronto FC cut him in mid-March.

Even though Stinson was still a member of TFC in March, he hadn’t played for the team in 2013, which allowed him to become eligible to play Canadian university soccer in September. CIS rules state that pro players can return to CIS if they give up professional status.
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